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Who is in charge here?

I never know what the subject of any day's thoughts will be, until I read mails from visitors. Usually a snippet, such as ". ..there are things that could help me on this path I've chosen, it would be very nice to have some guidance. Of course I've had guru opportunities and haven't found myself able to join the herd .... including the ********** herd, though I've studied w/ him since 1989 and appreciate him as a teacher, tremendously."

I responded to this visitor that she should stay away from gurus; all gurus are false gurus and it is obvious she does not need one.

Some people feel they need a guru and I think it has something to do with the locus of control.

In psychology there is a concept called the locus of control. People with an internal locus of control believe that their own actions and thoughts determine what happens to them and how they feel, while people with an external locus of control feel that what they do or think does not matter much and that what happens to them and how they feel is determined by events in the outside world. There is a test you can take to find out where your locus of control lies here.

Why Does It Matter?

It matters because where your locus of control liesdetermines how you order your life, how you pursue your goals, and even in your emotional state. Your locus of control answers the question, “Who’s in charge here?” If you have an internal locus of control, you are telling yourself and the world that you are in charge of your life. You are an actor. If you have an external locus of control you are telling yourself and the world that the world is in charge of your life. In essence, you make yourself a victim. Now, who is going to do better at making changes in their life, the actor or the victim?

The answer to that question is self-evident. If you are a victim, if you believe the e xternal world controls you, you won’t even try to change the things in your life with which you are unhappy. You will continue to live as you always have lived because you can not see that trying to change anything will have a positive outcome. Being a victim is a hard way to live. You guarantee that what you do will be ineffective.

If you are an actor, though, if you believe you are in control of what happens in your life, you know that you can make changes in your life. You know that what is in your life, you brought in, and so you can make it different. You feel in control, and so, even if you are in the same life situation as someone who feels powerless, your attitude is better and you can do more to change the circumstances of your life.

So What Can I Do?

There is nothing objective showing that an external or internal locus of control is the way human reality works, that one or the other is correct or incorrect. Pragmatically, though, it is no contest. People with an internal locus of control are more effective, and can be happier than people with an external locus. Would you rather be happy or depressed?

Where your locus of control lies is not determined genetically. It is not innate. It is a belief, a very important belief, but a belief nonetheless, and like all beliefs it can be changed if you want to. This is the first step to changing your life Stop telling yourself “I can’t help it.” and start telling yourself “I can help it.” For an inventory of some of your beliefs, go here.

The goal of every honest guru is to get the student to the point where the student can say "NO", to the guru.

Take charge of yourself, and take charge of your life.

Any questions??