Reader QUIT: Letting Outside Forces Own My Life (by Kevin Cole)

Who owns your life?

I ask this question to myself all the time.

My rhetorical question is to remind myself day in and day out that I am in control.

That there is no job, no other person, and no outside force that will dictate my life.

I own my life.

The Never-Ending Journey Of Life Ownership

It all started when I took my first “real” job.  I was 18 years old and had landed a job in the medical field that was considered “prestigious” for my age.  On paper, it was great: plenty of room for advancement and a damn good salary.

But it didn’t take long for me to figure out that I had made a big mistake.  This was not the life that I wanted to live.  I saw people complaining about their jobs and doing nothing about it.

I was confused and terrified.  It drove me to work hard and get the hell out of there.

In October, I quit my job.  On my final day, I was calm and relaxed.  I strolled out the front door and drove my car home.  I passed by the changing leaves and took in the beautiful fall weather.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  It was at that moment that I said out loud, “I own my life.  No one else ever will.”

It’s an empowering thought, and it drives me every day.

Owning your life is not something that can be done overnight, and I haven’t fully conquered this, but I am constantly working on it.  It is a battle, both personally and professionally.

Taking Back Life One Day At A Time

There are two parts to my personal life ownership:

  1. Getting rid of bad relationships.
  2. Forging new relationships.

Ridding myself of bad relationships in my life has been one of the toughest things I have ever done.  A lot of these bad relationships were people who were very close to me—close friends, women in my life, etc.

They are people who were sucking my energy and my time, and I knew it.  In fact, I knew it for quite some time, but just didn’t have the gumption to do anything about it.

It wasn’t until I started asking myself “Who owns your life?” that I had the courage to rid myself of these people.

I’ve also been focusing on forging new relationships.

People are awesome. Seriously—since I started talking to new people, I have connected with some incredible human beings that are doing amazing things.

Professional life ownership is where the large majority of us focus our attention.  This means our job. (The thing so many of us loathe.)

Professional life ownership can be a monster, and it’s not an easy thing to tackle.

I’m fortunate that I have started this path early in life and have evaded a lot of the things that prevent people from leaving their jobs.  Debt and other major expenses aren’t as big of an issue for me, so I was able to take the leap with the knowledge that I wasn’t risking much.

Nonetheless, there is a constant sense of urgency about owning life professionally.  If I don’t continue to dictate to my own entrepreneurial goals, achieve them, and then make money, I could very well go back to a “real” job.  (Oh no!!!)

But have no fear.  Dictating my life and setting my own rules is a dream come true.

Keeping Things Simple

I ask myself “Who Owns Your Life?” because I want to focus on taking the correct action.

I simply use this idea to guide me through my day to day life.

It is a compass that guides me in the right direction no matter what curve ball is thrown my way.

I own my life, no one else does.



Kevin ColeKevin Cole is a writer and entrepreneur at The Mental Playground, delivering practical advice on how to navigate the most complex organism known to man: Your Own Mind. 



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  • Jarkko Helenius

    Yeah, this is basically a spin of the whole idea of taking completely responsibility of your own life and I couldn’t agree more. The moment I started accepting that everything in my life is up to me my life slowly started improving.

    Now I’m trying to go to Japan, but will see if I can make that happen… I tell you all about it here.

  • I sometimes feel I should jot down “You are the only person in control of your life” on a sticky-note and stick it to my mirror. A times, we as human beings really need to remind ourselves and push ourselves rather than be pushed.

    Great post!