Are You Really “IN” Control?

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 27th, 2011 10 Comments

Years ago, you’d walk the streets of New York and see homeless folks all over the place, many with mental problems, muttering to themselves, or talking loudly at no one or at everyone or at each person who passed.

It was disconcerting at minimum; intimidating, frightening or depressing at times.

These days, a lot of the homeless problem there seems to have gone away – I can’t tell you why. But they’ve been replaced by a better-dressed population who appear just as addled…they rush through the streets, all talking loudly, seemingly to no one. And this population has expanded from city streets to airports, supermarkets, theater lobbies, everywhere. Even public bathrooms.

Sometimes I don’t realize they are talking on their invisible phones and I think they are talking to me and I respond. They think I’m an idiot. I know they are.

People are now plugged in and connected non-stop from eyes opening to eyes closing, iPod in one ear, invisible phone in another, computer and TV integrated, text messaging, checking e-mail, ad nauseum.

They think that’s making them more productive. It is not, anymore than running faster in the wheel gets the caged hamster anywhere. In fact, it makes them less productive simply because they are less in control. Less in control of their time, their order of priorities, their very thoughts. Less in control of the environment in which they sell and communicate.

Contrary to simplistic interpretation, I am not anti-technology. I like using it to make money, solve problems or enhance productivity. But that’s not what’s happening for most people.

In his best and most important book, ‘Grow Rich With Peace Of Mind’, Napoleon Hill wrote of having his phone disconnected to shield himself from a rising tide of intrusion he could not control. He preferred using it only to make calls, not to receive them (just as I do, all these years later.) Imagine what he’d think of what the telephone has become: an out of control octopus.

Those who teach and sell “time management” often say ‘time is money’ and everybody conceptually concurs – although few actually treat it as such; and they often say that your income reflects your use and value of your time….but the precise truth is, your income reflects your control of your time. And you really want to pay close attention to who (or what) is in control of or interfering with your control of your time…your energy, your thoughts, your opportunity to perform whatever functions you perform at peak performance.

All successful people fight, constantly, to regain control they let slip out of their grasp from one day to the next, one relationship to the next, one project to the next. It gets away; I get it back. It gets loose; I round it up and fence it back in. That’s the way it is.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

10 Responses

  1. Jorge says:

    I’m really glad you brought up the Napoleon Hill book of Grow Rich With Peace Of Mind, it’s my preferred book of all time, and my father has told me it’s the best book he has ever read, and he has read a lot

    Thanks Dan =)

  2. ken says:

    No doubt. Added to this business element is a social commentary, since its so pervasive.

    I believe it is socially rude, isolationist, and downright dangerous when soccer moms crusing the parking lot now hold a starbucks in one hand and thier device in the other. Constant-communication is over rated.

  3. Ted Peterson says:

    I agree. Today it is getting harder and harder to control our space and environment. When I’m working I have to shut everything else off. I let the voicemail get the calls. If I had to answer the phone text email and constant steam of ims I’d never get anything done.

  4. Thank you, Dan. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I am amazed at the amount of noise (and confusion) people ODing on technology have foisted upon themselves, and then they look at others as if they are out of touch if they won’t play along in the insanity. In the mean time, has the breakneck pace made them happier, richer or more enlightened? Sure, that’s why more people are taking drugs for depression than at any time in our history. It’s so nice to see a role model for success like yourself suggesting we can be human and in control without falling behind. Keep up the good work.

  5. Scott Martin says:

    I think the first step is not wasting time on people who will not buy. This week, I unleashed my new website on the world and it includes a ‘consultation’ page where I tell people that a long chat in a coffee shop where they pick my brain then say, ‘thanks for your time’ comes with a fee.

  6. Honestly Dan, this is the most inspiring message I have ever read this 2011. Believe me, I’m not kidding, we all think that been too busy with all these latest gadgets makes us productive. I doubt it does because nothing has changed in my life until I read that Napoleon Hill’s Book. You made my day Dan and I will continue to read your posts.

  7. You are my all time favorite and your writing truly is “no BS.”
    I appreciate your last paragraph the most where you relate to the normal guy and admit that time also slips away from you and is a constant effort to keep it under control.
    That made me realize that I am not the only one and it’s ok to lose that control as long as you never stop reeling it back in.
    Thanks Dan

  8. Anthony says:

    Mobile phones are like our umbilical chord to the matrix. We much disconnect if we are to be free! Since listening to you consistently a month ago now Dan I have said to my wife I am disconnecting from the phone and have begun the process of having it stop owning me… Checking it every half hour and such. Just at set times. I like what you said about using the phone to make calls, not recieve them. I will use that. Cheers Dan.

  9. Mo Mastafa says:

    Spot on Dan,

    I have realized this the hard way. If you don’t take full control, and proactively look for ways to remove all distration, you will be at the mercy of outside influences.

    I’m now trying to live my life by Eben Pagans ritual model of working in 60-90 minutes chunks of uninterrupted time.

    No cell phones, no Facebook, no browser tabs that are not needed. Basically nothing that is likely to interrupt me. I even try to keep my desk as clear as possible to stop my eyes wondering and thus resulting in my mind wandering off too.

  10. Well said Dan. I think it depend on the people how they are using these technologies to be productive and the good thing is most professional really use the technology to its maximum purpose and that makes their transactions faster. I see your point and in the end we are still in control.

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