Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The fallacy of control (3)

A friend sent me a comment on my recent blog The fallacy of control (2). She said that it lacked a connection with acceptance (my blogs). I agree. Hence, I’ve made some minor amendments to my 2017 diagram on Change to reflect how (not) being in control and acceptance are related. Not accepting Change may easily result in being / feeling out of control. Indeed, (non-) acceptance is a major issue in our lives.

Acceptance is the final step in any process that deals with Change (eg, death, dismissal, grief). In her 1969 book On Death and Dying, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) identified the five steps of processing grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (a.k.a. DABDA).

In his 2019 book Finding meaning, the 6th stage of grief, her co-writer David Kessler identifies another universal step: meaning (my blogs). In my view, this 6th step is a side issue and not a major issue that occupies your entire thinking. Moreover, often there is no answer. Also see my 2016 blog: What’s the purpose of death?

Ironically, this blog series is about the meaning / purpose of being / feeling in control. The title of this series argues that control is a fallacy: “a misleading argument or belief based on a falsehood”.

In my view, a sense of control belongs to an equilibrium in our lives, while being / feeling out of control is part of a vacuum in our lives (my blogs on chaos-equilibrium-vacuum). Hence, control is an illusion. I’m not alone in this view. In 1975, psychologist Ellen Langer wrote about the illusion of control (APA PsycNet), being “the tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control events” (Wiki).

The quote below may explain why we still need and want to believe in the illusion of control.

“I think control is an illusion we build to protect ourselves, and the larger we try to make that circle, the weaker it gets. We can’t control our own destinies, much less someone else’s. And even the illusion is so fragile, any change can destroy it.”

A quote from What Dreams May Come by Kay Hooper (b.1958), an American author.

Out of Control (1980) by U2
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

I had the feeling it was out of control
I was of the opinion it was out of control.

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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