You have a free will so it means that you can do whatever you want when you want. So, why not use it? Theoretically that’s true, but in actuality, from the cradle to the old folks’ home, others do have domain over your schedule and your life to a certain degree. But not everyone should get that power. Sometimes you have to learn how to keep others from running your life—because it’s not their life, it’s your life.
Influence & Circumstances
Free will aside, your parents and your teachers run your life when you’re young. When you get older and get a job, it dictates the hours you work and how much you get paid. And if you’re a spouse and/or a parent, you know all too well how you have to sacrifice your time to accommodate others. These are circumstances. They exist in your life to give you guidance, to help you become a thoughtful/mindful person and to give you a sense of what’s possible. These circumstances also help you teach others, like your children, the same things. For the most part though, these circumstances are good—you learn and grow from the experiences they sire, and you find ways to balance it all. And in those moments when you get a break—your lunch hour or vacation, you can let free will reign.
And then there are influences. Influences are avoidable, and often include the people who try to run your life, but shouldn’t. This is the first place place to try and break free by exercising your free will. Here are the people who influence you, but shouldn’t:
1. The Drama Queens
These are the people in your life who always have an emergency and it’s always at the most inconvenient time for you. They will take over your life and your time as much as you let them, but when you need someone to talk to they’re too busy or too hard to find.
2. The Energy Vampires
The friends, family and coworkers who exist on constant negative energy, they want to suck you dry of every ounce of empathy you have and make you just like them. If they succeed in crossing you over to the dark side, you can say goodbye to all that lovely free will/free time you used to enjoy. You’ll be consumed with constant negative thoughts about everything and anyone. Also, just like the drama queens, energy vampires have a knack for picking the most inopportune times to feed off of your attention.
3. The Dream Crushers
These bad influence experts will try to convince you that putting time into making your dreams come true is just a waste of time. Dreams, they will try to tell you, aren’t real life. Let these people know that you’re in charge of running your own life, not them, and if that includes making a few mistakes, then so be it. Dream crushers are not only rude, but selfish; they would rather see you out being silly with them instead of home studying or working to make a dream or goal come true. Exercise that free will of yours and choose to ignore the dream crushers—you’ll likely get the last laugh.
4. The Needy Greedies
If you’re trying to figure out how not to let others run your life, then see if you have one of these needy people in your life. They’re the needy greedies and it’s all about them. They fully expect you to drop everything to help them because, well, they’re more important. You can tell them that you’re planning a romantic dinner with your boyfriend, and they’ll find a way to have a crisis just at that precise time. Just imagine music, candlelight and the two of you sitting on the couch listening to the latest crisis in the needy greedy’s life. Dinner is cold, the mood is ruined and best of all, they will have miraculously recovered the next day and you won’t hear from them until the next crisis arises.
5. The People Pleaser
This is you. If you’re giving up what you want to do in order to please someone else, then you have effectively let others run your life and essentially given your power over to someone who isn’t you—that should never happen. If you’re going out of your way to please others and not paying attention to your own wants and needs, then this is all on you. Don’t give your power away, and don’t let others run your life and control your existence.
Anyone or anything that is taking up your time without your invitation is controlling you, robbing you of your energy and your free will. If you allow it, then you have no one to blame but yourself. However, you don’t have to let it keep happening. If you want to live your own life, you have to learn how to run your life.