Photo Credit: Edmundas Stundzius

20 ways to take control of your life

John Fawkes


Originally published on my free Substack blog

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. -Charles R. Swindoll

Most of us go through life feeling like we’re not in control.

Our time is filled with things we have to do, while our dreams are filled with things we assume we can’t do. Social and financial obligations dictate most of our behavior, while the remainder of our choices are constrained by fear.

Life becomes a series of things that happen to us.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can systematically conquer your anxieties and eliminate the external obstacles holding you back. You can take back control. Your life can be yours. Here’s how.

1. Do something that scares you at least once a week

All too often, fear holds us back from doing what we want to do in life. When you build the habit of facing your fears, you become inured to fear. And then, you start breaking free of the artificial self-imposed constraints that fear creates.

Related reading: How to embrace the suck and develop mental toughness.

2. Sleep on a regular schedule

Get 7–8 hours of sleep a night. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day. The exact time isn’t terribly important- you could sleep from 10–5, or 12–8, or even 3–10. What’s important is keeping a regular schedule so your brain can maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. This regularity, in turn, makes it easier to provide structure and order to your life.

In terms of what to use, I don’t want to encourage people to think you can buy your way out of this problem, but I have found low-dose (.5–1.5 mg) melatonin to be helpful for many of my clients, along with magnesium threonate. Even more so, using the Philips Go-Lite to expose your eyes to blue light during the day seems to help enhance the day/night contrast so that you’re more alert during the day and sleepier at night.

This is an extremely important topic, and one you definitely want to learn about in more detail. Start with the following three articles: Ten changes that helped my onset insomnia, How to sleep well and



John Fawkes

Los Angeles-based freelance writer, photographer and marketing consultant.