Locus of Control: Who Controls Your Life

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Do you believe in fate? In chance? Or are you one of those people who takes full charge of how your life turns out?

Well, this article explores the concept of "locus of control." In psychology, this term refers to how you explain the good and the bad things in your life. This concept explains why some people are fanatics of destiny and why others are strong advocates of taking in control.

External versus Internal Locus of Control

Your "locus" can either be internal or external. If you have an external locus of control, you believe that fate, chance, or a higher being is the one responsible in running your life. You have no immediate control over the things that are happening to you. Instead, you simply let your external sphere influence the outcome of your life.

People with external locus of control exhibit less responsibility over their lives. They would always say: if it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

On the contrary, those with an internal locus of control believe that they themselves are the captains of their ship. They believe that whatever happens to them is a result of the choices they make, and the things that they do. More importantly, people with an internal locus of control believe that no one else is responsible for their lives. As a result, they have better control of their behavior and consequently, they attempt to influence others'.

At the extremes, people with internal locus of control can be labelled as "control freaks" or perfectionists. On the other hand, those with external locus of control can be likened to the devil-may-care and sometimes thoughtless individuals.

Which is Better?

Now the question is: which is better? Which is the ideal? Is it fair to think of people with external locus of control are mindless and irresponsible individuals? Is it fair to say that everyone should strive to have an internal locus of control?

Well, there's really no definite answer to this, except that a balance between the two loci (plural of locus) should be present. For the most part, you must be in control of your life. You must do the things that you want to do. If you want to be successful in your career, you must see to it that you do well in your current job. If you want to find the man - or woman - of your dreams, you must make yourself accessible and available. Go to places where you can find decent partners. Don't just stay at home and pray that your prince charming will be magically directed to your path.

On the other hand, acknowledge as well that some things are simply out of your control. Know that sometimes, fate waves her hand, and whatever you do, you can't get away from it. Acknowledge that there's a higher being - someone who is larger than you. Acknowledge that sometimes, it's okay to lose control a bit, and let fate do its part.

Therefore, the key to living a good and planned life is balance. Take charge of the things that you can control and let go of those that you can't. By doing so, you are well way at ease directing your life - without closing your doors on a few surprises along the way.
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