Is there a difference between control and power? Many people confuse the one with the other. You see, it is not true that you will have power when you have control and if you lose control, it does not mean you have to lose your power.
We make a promise in our Personal Success Story workshop that it will help you figure out what parts of your story you have control over and what parts you don’t. This does not mean we promise that you will regain control. We do, however promise to create a space where you can regain power.
Control is the illusion of power. Real power, is being strong inspite of a sense of being out of control.
Here is an example of what I mean.
In the movie UP, Mr. Frederickson feels out of control from the moment he discovers the boy scout has joined him on his voyage. From that moment on he responds to challenges with resistance. He wants to get to Paradise Falls and he strives towards it with all his might. Around every turn he meets with characters that slows him down, takes him on detours and confuses the goal.
Finally he chases them all away and forces himself to the Fall. There he sits down to enjoy the rewards of reaching his goal – he was successful at last. Yet, it is not what he expected. With the help of his late beloved wife Elli’s Adventure book, he rediscovers the true value of an adventure: not reaching the destination (paradise Falls) but enjoying the journey with your companions.
There and then he makes a choice to embrace the new companions he had met and support them in their quest. He reunites with the talking dog and sacrifices all his resources to help the boy and the exotic bird Kevin.
Personal success is dependent on the choices you make in the darkest moments of your journey.
These choices, stories teach us, either produce success or they lead to ultimate downfall. Either you receive reward beyond your wildest imagination, or you regress to a point worse than where you started.
In UP Mr. Frederickson makes a choice for relationship vs reaching his destination – he chooses power over control. This motivates him through the worst ordeal of the entire story and causes him to lose all that he used to hold dear. But he gains a new life and a new set of companions to share the adventure with.
Mr. Frederickson was able to give up control and regain his power. This is my hope for all of us:
To allow our darkest moments to manifest our main motivation: the thing that matters more than staying in control. There lies true power.
The Mr. Frederickson response is therefore to let go of the ideals you were holding on to in favour of new growth and change.
But stories teach us two other responses
The Brave Heart response comes when you discover in that moment that you cannot let go of the thing you are holding on to. This may be because it really is your true ;power and you have been chosen to manifest it in a world that resists your truth. In that case holding on would also access your true power. Still, you would need to let go of everything else and give up control in that way. You may even have to be willing to give your life like Brave Heart.
In the Oedipus response the main character is also brought to his darkest moment and confronted with his own truth and the greater good, but is unable to let go the obsession that is driving him (his version of Paradise Falls). The consequences of such a choice, stories teach us, is devastating. Characters like Oedipus, Othello, Macbeth and Clever Elsie all end up worse than where they started, these are not success stories.
May you know when to let go and when to hold on so you can access your power.
Go out and be a Mr. Frederickson or a Brave Heart
For more on you and your life story, join our story class in Stellenbosch
Dr. Petro Janse van Vuuren
Click on the links below for more info about our Personal Success Story workshops in your area.