Taking Control of Your Life
Chiesa de Negri, Cosimo; Chiesa de Negri, Cosimo
Publisher: LID Editorial
Original document: Protagonista o espectador
Luis, a 45-year-old manager, is suddenly laid off from the firm where he worked for the past 15 years. Married with three children, he feels utterly lost and seeks help from Enrique, his former business professor.
Enrique advises him to stop feeling sorry for himself and take control of the situation. Over the course of six meetings, Enrique helps Luis reinvent himself and regain control of his life.
Through these characters, IESE Prof. Cosimo Chiesa and his daughter, Carlotta Chiesa, offer simple methods, exercises and observations to help readers learn how to survive and thrive in difficult circumstances.
Their personal growth plan is broken down into four phases.
1. Know Yourself. Though we can’t always control what happens in life, we can decide how we will react. Unfortunately, most people don’t take responsibility but instead prefer to blame someone else. Many companies are full of spectators, when what they really need are protagonists.
Often things don’t “just happen,” say the authors. Usually there is something that a person can do to shape his or her own future. “If you want to obtain different results, do things differently,” Enrique recommends. It is pointless to complain if you do nothing to change your situation.
Being able to manage change, therefore, becomes a vital skill, which requires being flexible and keeping an open mind. Always act with an eye to the future based on what you want to achieve in life, analyzing what you are satisfied with and what you would like to change as you go.
2. Set Goals. After the self-awareness phase, it’s time to set SMART goals. This means that instead of having a vague desire to make more money, a better goal would be to state, “I will increase my revenue by 20 percent in one year’s time,” and then define the specific actions, knowledge and changes of habits you will need to achieve that objective. Having a well-defined purpose gives meaning to our lives.
3. Develop Emotional Intelligence. Emotions cannot be controlled, but they can be managed, and it’s important to learn how to do this. If we are conscious of how we react in certain situations, we can learn to give more controlled responses, which will soon become part of our identity.
It is also necessary to overcome certain beliefs that limit us. Though our beliefs arise from experiences we have had, we can change them if we put our minds to it. Sometimes you have to unlearn what you have learned in order to move forward.
4. Take Control of Your Life. Having gone through the previous three steps, it’s time to act with the realization that achieving happiness is not about what we possess, but the way we process things. For people who have an inner balance, take full responsibility for their actions and feel in control of their lives, there is no crisis they cannot face, say the authors.
There’s no special trick – just having these skills to serve as a compass that will point you in the right direction.
It’s up to you, say the authors. Do you want to keep on being a spectator, or are you ready to become the protagonist of your own life story?