Like most compulsive controllers, I was always driven to succeed. I graduated from UCLA with honors in business administration and finished in the top 5 percent of my class at the UCLA School of Law.
While still in my 20s, I became a real estate instructor in the UCLA Extension Program and a few years later published a critically acclaimed, best-selling professional book, How to Invest in Real Estate Syndicates (Dow Jones-Irwin).
Financial success came early as well. Celebrities and wealthy people entrusted me with large sums to invest on their behalf. By my mid-30s I could afford to live in the exclusive Old Bel Air section of Los Angeles, only a few doors away from Sylvester Stallone and just up the street from where Elvis Presley had once lived.
But for all my achievements and success, I had no sense of inner peace and serenity. How could I? I was imprisoned by my fears, anger and anxieties—all bedfellows of controllers--and thus not open to the wonders all around me.
It took a long series of personal setbacks culminating in five surgeries for the eradication of cancer on my nose before I was able to accept the emptiness and folly of my control-driven life. I had to let go of the very thing in my life that I had always felt most secure with—Control. I had neither the strength nor desire to go on fighting whatever demons were going to attack me next. I “surrendered.” And with that surrender, my blinders fell away, new opportunities emerged, and I was able to glimpse a much more serene way of life.
I thus began a new life journey based on letting go of control. I tried to go with the ups and downs and twists and turns of life, instead of resisting them and trying to control people and events. Over many years, I learned effective tools and strategies (explained in Losing Control, Finding Serenity) for letting go of control with my loved ones, children, family and friends, as well as in sports, creative endeavors, and the workplace. In the process, I became an artist, published poet, champion senior tennis player, a happily married man, and much wiser parent—all while cutting my work time by more than half.
But the journey never stops, nor do I wish it to. Since publishing LCFS six years ago, I began studying, exploring, and writing about the most effective way of losing control: Accepting “what is.”
Simply put, when we practice acceptance, there is no real need to control.
But I have learned that the benefits of acceptance go well beyond just removing the need to control. It is also instrumental in reducing stress and anxiety (and associated burdens), revealing meaningful life choices, bringing us greater freedom, and forging stronger bonds in our close relationships—and much more. I am excited that I have completed the manuscript for a new book about acceptance titled The Blessings of Acceptance, which examines these benefits in depth and how we can receive them. (The first chapter can be downloaded at www.losingcontrolfindingserenity.com and excerpts and stories from the book will be available for download prior to its formal publication next year.)
Thus, through letting go of control and accepting “what is,” I have found a different and more profound success—an internal, core sense of well-being. It is my wish and hope that you, too, can experience these blessings and it is my sincere desire to be of assistance in your letting go of control and practicing acceptance.
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