Basically, all men want to be sovereign in their own life. They want to rule it.
Never mind the premise that only certain men are born to rule or are capable of conquest or embody the passion to be a dictator.
Everyone fundamentally desires this.
Other ways to say this are: to be master of your fate, captain of your ship, in charge of your own destiny.
Yet, if everyone wants this — and it is probably the most universal, fundamental human desire — why don’t more of us make it a reality?
It is because we have been removed from our own sense of control and have allowed ourselves and our thoughts to be usurped by others.
How do we claim our sovereignty?
Imagine your life as a kingdom.
Imagine a region no one has claimed. Someone (a bequeather) comes to you and says, here is an area of the world. It’s got land and water. Mountains and valleys. People live here. It’s pretty big. But it has no ruler. I am giving it to you. You are now the king of this region. You may do with it as you will.
What would you do with your new kingdom? All the resources belong to you. The people are ready to do your bidding.
That is basically how you are in relation to your own life. What you want is to feel that you are the ruler of your life, that you are sovereign over it.
Who rules this kingdom?
Being sovereign in your life proceeds first from how you think. Your mind creates life. The body is just a tool used by the brain to experience things — quanta and electromagnetic energy and gravity streaming past. Your consciousness is the fundamental place you inhabit, the substance of all experience. Without an “I” you would know nothing of the world and its processes.
You want to be sovereign of the thoughts experienced by your “I”, by your identity.
But who is in charge of your thoughts? The world and other people are trying to usurp and influence your thoughts constantly. Societies are built on the control of the thoughts of the people involved in them. People are subject to outside influences, persuasion, conditioning.
In order to be sovereign of your life, you must be able to choose and pursue the thoughts you prefer.
This is not easy. We are social animals, susceptible to the influence of others. And this is not a bad thing, when what others are offering is love, goodwill, compassion, enthusiasm, cooperation, and other positive attitudes and behaviors. Where it gets sticky is when they try to control us and our thoughts to their advantage.
Large groups of people — organizations, enterprises — always try to control you to their own advantage. It is up to you to choose to cooperate with them, to think the way they want you to think, or to choose new thoughts that you prefer.
You want to be the king of your life because then you have a good chance of doing and accomplishing the things that will make you feel good.
All anybody wants is to feel good. The American founding fathers had it right: the pursuit of happiness. That good feeling is all any pursuit comes down to.
Being sovereign in your life implies strength. All strength proceeds from strength of mind. Think about that. Think about the guy who works out and lifts weights to have a strong body. He would not do it if he first did not tell himself to do it. He decided to do it even if it was unpleasant, painful, or difficult. In fact, he might tell himself that it is good that it is hard, because that means he’s making himself physically stronger.
That is strength of mind.
Strength of mind determines the amount of power you wield.
Everything you do, everything you feel, is determined by your thoughts. Thoughts are the nature of your experience.
Thoughts are often unruly. They are not easily subject to your control. Frequent practice enables you to take charge of your thoughts and focus mostly on the things you want to focus on, rather than focusing on things that are uncomfortable (fear, uncertainty, insecurity, confusion, hesitation, over-analysis, compulsion, guilt, obligation, worry, timidity, shame). Remember that we are constantly being bombarded by messages about what to think. When some type of communication is offered — an advertisement, a conversation with a friend or colleague, a TV show, news reports, music, photographs, and so on — ask yourself: what are they trying to get me to think? What are they trying to get me to feel? How are they trying to capture me? What response do they want? Then, when you’ve figured it out, ask yourself: do I want to think this? Do I want to respond in the way they want me to?
If you do, fine. Do it. If you do not, then ask yourself: how would I rather think? How would I rather feel? What would I prefer to do?
Then do it. Think the thoughts that appeal to you. Do not give in to the implied (or overt) message of fear that something bad will happen to you if you do not do what they want you to do. Nothing bad is going to happen to you if you are in charge of your own thoughts. It is your thoughts that determine the quality of your experience.
Your thoughts don’t necessarily determine your experience. They determine the quality of your experience.
However, when you choose to act on your self-determined thoughts, then they dictate in large part what you experience.
Stop trying to impress others and start impressing yourself.
As far as being worried about something bad happening… What is the worst that can happen? Death? Got news for you buddy — something bad has already happened. Because you’re currently under a death sentence. You will die. No doubt about it, someday it will happen. So think about it. If that’s the worst that can happen to you, the worst has already happened. No sense worrying about it. You may as well enjoy the time you have now. And if they threaten you with death to try to control you, say fuck it, the worst has already happened to me.
Actually, though, death isn’t so bad. Consider: you are an energy matrix. Fundamentally, nothing exists except energy. And at the level underlying energy, apparently nothing exists except quantum fluctuations. You are nothing but a focused set of quantum fluctuations, self-determined and self-organized. Death doesn’t end anything. It is merely a change of focus. It is no more threatening than walking through a door.
And you walk through doorways every day.
So, they can’t control you with thoughts or threats of death. Think about the other ways they attempt to control you — loneliness, pain, deprivation, poverty, starvation, disease, psychosis… Realize the truth about each of them. They are nothing but thoughts, evaluations of experience. You don’t need to worry about them if you prefer not to. It is the worry about them that is debilitating, that saps your strength and capacity to rule your life. Tell worry to go jump in the lake. It has nothing to do with you. Tell yourself you’ll worry later, maybe tomorrow — right now you’ll have fun doing something else…
If you ever find yourself in the midst of a situation that is unpleasant, you will notice that you are still very much alive, very much involved, very much aware of your thoughts — and it is not as bad as you anticipated.
It is like exercising. When you are working out — say, running a fast interval or lifting a heavy weight — you are incapable of being depressed, incapable of being worried, incapable of feeling powerless, because you are involved in something that you have determined you will do for your own reasons. The actuality of life is involving. It is inspiring. It is full of feeling. Worry is the lack of full involvement.
Promise yourself robust involvement. It is your force, your honor guard.
Promise yourself to be intrepid, even if only in your mind. “I am intrepid in my mind.”
Not being involved in your own life is the only thing you have to worry about. If you’re acting on your internal impulses, your true and heartfelt inclinations, you are living life the way you intended.
Be the man you want to be.
That is how you can be sovereign of and in your own life.
How will you know if you’re thinking the thoughts that will make you the ruler of your life? By how they feel. If they feel good when you think them, they are the thoughts of a king.
Too many of us get used to thinking thoughts that make us feel bad. That is when they’ve got us. That is when we have been dragged in chains out of our kingdom. But the kingdom is still there, awaiting your return. It is never too late. It is always calling to you: “Come home, your lands and people need you. This is the land your dreams and passion has created. It is yours.” This is the kingdom of your thoughts. It is formed first in your mind and then calls you unto itself. If you will go, if you will heed the call, you will find that your dreams have made you its ruler. If you simply focus on those yearnings toward kingship, you will be sovereign in your own life.
Only you can give away your kingdom. Or claim it.