Control! Power! Command!

Everybody has some. It’s what you do with your steering wheel, your TV remote and even whatever you chose to put in your hot, steaming morning mug of coffee. You are in control!

But some days that’s where it seems to stop. There’s so much more I wish I could control. Take the winter weather and big earthquakes, for example. Or the world economy. Or what time the sun sneaks up under the window shade, through the covers where I’m hiding all warm and cozy and wakes me up.

If it’s control you want, the world is full of things you can’t. But there is a way.

The way to take control of something is based on one of the most ancient principles of human existence. It probably even predates civilization itself. It is ownership. Your best chance to control something is to own it.

And that’s what worries me. An awful lot of people don’t believe that. Here’s my argument for that point of view:

Guess who owns your brain.

Consider this: I own my brain, I can tell it what to do. I can tell my hand and my foot what to do, so why not my brain?

Some people say a lot of our problems are the result of “mind control” by a vast and mythological conspiracy of advertisers and the media magicians. Even if it were true, why would any of us willingly hand over control of our most prized possession to them?

Jack Welch, the one-time chair and CEO of GE, increased his company’s value by 4,000% in a mere 20 years. He said, “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” Jack’s reward was a $417 million pension, the largest in history.

The good news is that the payoff you and I can earn by controlling what we own… makes that one look like pocket change. What if the payoff could be your life itself?

This week the Jamestown Gazette is here to remind all of us for National Heart Week that the things we do can kill us or save our lives, and they are almost all under our own control. The most lethal lie in the world is that we can’t control ourselves. Sometimes it isn’t easy, but would you try it for $417 million? How about to gain your life?

It is possible to decide what to like and what to believe. It is not simply something that sneaks up and happens to you.

If it seems beyond your control to stop killing yourself, you are probably wrong. You own your brain. Tell it what to do. Take control. That’s power. And if there are circumstances you cannot control, your job is to control what your brain does with them.

National Heart Month is here to announce the latest discoveries in how to save your life. Ready? We’ve all heard them before, but now that you know who is really in control, look at them just one more time:

“People who will not have a heart attack this year may well have themselves to thank. Those are the people who do not smoking, drink little or no alcohol, keep a healthy weight, stay physically active and eat right.

Tell your brain what to do. Enjoy your life. And of course, enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.