We can be in control or we can be happy–probably not both. The effort to control other people, events or the environment only increases our sense of helplessness and discomfort. The more we try to make things perfect around us, the less calm we feel inside. It’s a paradox. The more out of control we feel on the inside, the more we try to control on the outside. When we are overwhelmed by things beyond our control, we exert more control on the things within our ability to control and by doing so we often push people away. When we are feeling stressed with our emotions we may work harder to keep our home neat. When we are unhappy with ourselves, we nit-pick at others. One way to achieve some level of calm and peace is to stop trying to control every aspect of life because, in reality, very little is within our total control. We cannot control the weather, other people (though many try) or much of what happens on a day to day basis. Control (if ever achieved) is really false security anyway. Even when we think we’ve achieved some level of control, deep down, we know it’s an illusion so our anxiety increases instead of decreases thus triggering more efforts to control (and so on it goes). The only thing we may have any level of control over at all is maybe ourselves (sometimes) and perhaps our own personal space (if no one else has access). Try letting go of control and instead try to go with the flow and stop trying to be in charge. We will find it’s much easier and in the end we will be happier. A good way to practice is to go camping in a tent. Let go of order, routine, cleanliness and rules. Once the effort to make camping as home like as possible is abandoned–the real fun begins! Read: Life on the Road for more insights on camping.