The Pursuit

A practical framework for life.


One of the peculiar things about life is that so much of what molds and defines you is out of your control. You have no say over your hardwired qualities (i.e. your DNA), and little-to-no say over your environment (e.g. where you’re born, who your family is, etc.). These things happen by chance, yet they're fundamental to your identity and behavior.

For some, this lack of control over key aspects of who you are is tough to swallow, and it often leads to comparisons. You compare the life you were given with those around you. You ask why you aren't better looking, or why you weren't born into a wealthier family. And you develop a belief that you were slighted — that you were dealt a two-of-a-kind when others got a royal flush.

Understandably, you feel like you lack agency in your life. And this is confusing and disheartening. If it's your life, why don’t you have a choice in these matters?

But the simple fact is that you just don't. No one does — not even those you think were dealt a better hand. And no amount of questioning or analyzing will change the outcome. Mother Nature and luck have already spoken. The simple truth is that this is your life. So, take it or leave it. But if you want to make the most of it, I suggest you focus less on the things you can't control, and more on what you can. In fact, it’s actually just a matter of perspective. If you view life through the right lens, you do have a choice in every experience in your life. You may not have a say in the cards you were dealt, but you do have a choice over what you think, say, and do with them. You get to decide how you treat yourself and everything around you. You get to choose whether you let the negative and impulsive rule your decision making, or you regulate your thoughts, actions, and reactions and rise above.

Even when dealing with the things you have little-to-no control over — your environment and those hardwired qualities — you still get to decide how you interpret the experiences and how they affect you. You still get to decide how and what meaning to attribute to those events.

If you take anything from this, let it be this: focus your attention and energy on what you can control — on the areas of your existence where you do have agency. You’re not able to control anyone or anything else, but you have complete control over yourself.

It might not feel like it right now, but control is a superpower. And it's foundational to making the most of your life — to pursuing health, wealth, and fulfillment.