You're Not In Charge

Jun 5, 2024

My mental model of the world used to be that I'm in charge of everything I do. I used to think I could control everything and create anything I wanted, including the life I desired, by being in control. This mindset felt inspiring to me - knowing I could make anything happen in this world created a sense of creative power and the ability to decide one's fate.

Recently, my model of the world changed. I now think we are not as much in charge as we believe we are.

Through practicing meditation, journaling, and contemplating life, I embarked on a journey of becoming more aware and conscious of myself. I started to notice my self, my sense of self, my ego, and more aspects that make up my conscious being.

During this journey, I learned from my leadership coach, Matthias Müller-Lindenberg, that evolutionary impulses exist and are smart signals useful in guiding your life decisions.

The premise is this: our subconscious is much more powerful than our conscious mind. The way we can access this subconscious is through our gut feeling. This sense is one of the oldest and most powerful senses we can learn to listen to and use. Evolutionary impulses are the moments you get an idea of something you want to change. It's a thought that holds the energy of creating change, turning possibility into reality. These impulses are different from the emotional reactions you get when you are triggered in a situation; rather, they are signs that come in moments of stillness, presence, and awareness. You cannot force evolutionary impulses, but instead, you need to embark on the journey of becoming aware and still. This way, you can create the conditions to notice those impulses in the moments where they matter.

The question of where these evolutionary impulses come from can be deferred to another discussion. Some believe they come from the soul, while others believe they come from the universe. However, what all explanations have in common is that they come from something beyond our conscious self.

If we trust in these impulses, or in other words, if we trust in something beyond our conscious self, the consequence is that we are less in charge than we'd like to admit.

My feelings about this realization are two-sided: on the one hand, it feels belittling to know that you are not as much in control as you want to be. On the other hand, it feels liberating, knowing that it's not all on you and there's something larger than you and the world you consciously observe that you can trust.

Despite being in the early days of understanding this more holistically, I start to notice it in my life increasingly frequently. For all the areas that matter to me, I embrace the fact that there's something more intelligent than my conscious self that is accessible to me at all times if I'm in the right state of mind. It takes away a lot of pressure, stress, and fear because I know it's not all on me. Instead, I'm the one bringing impulses to life by noticing them and then trusting them. Trusting that my gut feeling is smarter than my conscious self and letting it guide me in my life.