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Losing Control, Finding Serenity: How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How to Let It Go [Paperback]

Daniel A. Miller
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 1 2011
"ForeWord Review 2011 Book of the Year Award Finalist! What Would Your Life Be Like If You Simply Let Go of Control? At work, they oversee every detail of every project and expect nothing less than perfection from their coworkers. At home, they obsess over finding the “right” person. Then, they criticize their lover or spouse for doing everything wrong. As parents, they practice zero tolerance for their children’s preferred study practices, choice of friends, dress choices, and differing life views. Sound familiar? Everyone knows the type: micromanagers, nitpickers, and domestic despots. Yet, most people fail to recognize the signs of a compulsion to control in themselves—or realize the toll of their behavior on their career, their family, their friendships, and their own happiness. In Losing Control, Finding Serenity: How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How to Let It Go (Ebb and Flow Press, 2011) Daniel Miller pinpoints the dangers of excessive control, which goes far beyond setting limits and standards, in all aspects of life. What’s more, he shows those who feel the pressure to control how to break free and reap unexpected gifts. Sharing his journey of transformation, Miller reveals what happened when he finally decided to “surrender”: his blinders fell away, new opportunities emerged, and he experienced unprecedented, profound inner peace. Drawing on psychological insights, spiritual wisdom, and the real-life stories of acknowledged “control freaks,” Losing Control, Finding Serenity guides readers through an honest inventory of their control patterns—whether prodding, cajoling, withdrawing, playing the martyr, or intimidating—down to the roots. As most controllers will discover, their compulsion to control is provoked by deep-seated fear, anxieties, and insecurities, then aggravated by anger and resentments. Filled with enlightening true stories, Losing Control, Finding Serenity gives readers the knowledge, the courage, the strategies, and the “decontrol” tools to: *Identify and overcome the control triggers of fear, anger, and resentment. *Avoid avoidance, with techniques for overcoming procrastination and reassuring exercises for resisting the urge to withdraw from loved ones. *Become a less domineering parent, build a family democracy, and reduce the struggles with children. *Find and keep the right person by accepting who he or she is rather than trying to change their romantic partner. *Maintain realistic expectations in sports, whether as a player or a coach, and gain the competitive edge. *Free the flow of creative thinking by varying the perspective, addressing the fear of failure and success, and relaxing rather than over-thinking everything. *Delegate to and trust coworkers to reap increases in productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction—and reduce conflict and dissension. *Learn to be patient and calmly accept “what is,” even when adversity strikes, to enjoy a more fulfilling and serene life. * Pursue your passions and achieve greater life balance. In a chaotic, unpredictable world that’s frequently beyond anyone’s control, Losing Control, Finding Serenity offers welcome encouragement and validation for going with the flow of life as it is: an ongoing, every changing mystery. Find out how losing control really means gaining control."

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was looking for July 4 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for guidance on how to stop trying to control others and are able to take strength in a higher power you may find this works for you.

I was looking for something that would help me to relax and worry less about my own performance in a quest to allow the more creative side come out
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mental peace and liberation,,, Aug. 9 2011
By Rahamim Ron - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"I was given your book as a gift in my 70th birthday year. I never thought of myself as a controlling person until I saw myself in every chapter. I've read it two times and now flip random pages. My life has changed for the better since letting go of control with my five sons and my relationship. Now opportunities come to me surprisingly effortlessly. Thank you Dan for sharing your story - it is very courageous of you to do. Because of your book I am experiencing mental peace and liberation."

Rahamim Ron - Israel
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Will See Your Self--And Know You Are Not Alone Nov. 14 2012
By Lisa A. Romano - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The best kinds of books are those written by those who have experienced great pain, who have triumphed and then had the courage to write about it.

Not all of us had wonderful and wise parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles who took the time to teach us life's lessons about self, or others. This fact makes authors like these invaluable to people like myself, who consider themselves students of life.

If you are researching this book at all, it probably means you should read it.

In it you will undoubtedly find elements of your own individual yet uncanny likenesses to others in the world.

In my own life, as the adult child of two adult children of alcoholics--everything in my world was controlled by my denial and shame based parents--but especially my mother. I felt like a specimen on a petri dish--and as a result--I sadly felt the need to control my own emotions and behaviors around her. I never felt free or safe...instead I felt judged, afraid, and in fear of criticism in every moment--including sleep--as nightmares were a norm.

As a young adult woman, I struggled with eating disorders, and anxiety. As a new mother, I feared not being good enough for my newborn son, and worried myself sick over what others would think of my abilities or lack of.

Twelve years into my codependent marriage, I divorced my then husband, and found myself face to face with the devil. My fears were all in my mind...and were the result of my childhood programming.

Losing my need to control and or worry about what others thought about me--eventually taught me to simply let go...and when I did...slowly and incrementally peace and joy began to seep itself into my life.

This book is full of practical insights to why and how we can change.

Namaste...

Lisa A. Romano
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the process begin... July 24 2012
By bdprod - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was reading "Losing Control, Finding Serenity" on a plane when a woman sat next to me and we quickly got into an open and personal conversation. She was troubled by her husband's lack of patience with their children, though otherwise he was a terrific husband and father. I handed her the book and said, "Just read the first 25 pages." She quickly did and suddenly had a look of optimism. She said she was going to order the book as soon as she got home. The lessons and exercises in "Losing Control..." are with me every day. It's a process and it takes time. But just understanding how my control issues manifest themselves gives me moments of serenity. And those moments get longer and longer through awareness and practicing the techniques described by Danny Miller.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extremely Helpful Book for Control Freaks May 24 2013
By Christine Rice - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Losing Control, Finding Serenity" is a self-help book about how being controlling - over people and events - disrupts the natural course of life and hinders life and relationships. This is a book for everyone, because almost everyone does some degree of controlling in their lives. This book will help you realize where you have been controlling in your life and how to be less controlling. It also discusses the author's past experiences as a controlling person and how his life is different since he stopped being controlling and began trusting in the natural "waves" of life. He speaks about how various aspects of his life - finances, relationships, career, and hobbies - has improved since he stepped out of the way and let life take over. His personality and perspective on life has improved by being less controlling. He has less stress and worry. He shares how you too can let go of control and find happiness and success.

The book covers many topics that are helpful for losing control: what being controlling is like and how it hurts people, how to stop controlling behaviors, how to learn acceptance, how to embrace your personal truths, how to be less fearful and trust that life will turn out how it's supposed to, how to let go of anger and resentments, and how to stop avoiding tasks that you are apprehensive about. The book also describes and explains how to let go of control in certain parts of life, such as parenting, relationships, sports, the arts, and work.

This book is well worth the small investment. It is full of information on control, examples of the author and his friends of their controlling lives and how they changed, and how to change your controlling behaviors and your controlling personality. This book has the power to change your life for the better. I learned a lot from it and I highly recommend it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than the usual self-help book March 8 2011
By G. Blackman-Sheppard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Danny Miller's book arrived two days ago and I have read it: how's that for reader enthusiasm! I congratulate Danny Miller on having written Losing Control Finding Serenity. Not only did I recognise myself in much of what he has written but, unlike many other `self-help' books, his is the work of a lifetime and it shows. His personal experience - either direct or indirect through people he has known well - jumps off the page and speaks to the core of who we are. Having had to relinquish control in my own long and arduous journey with bipolar disorder, I know how crucial Danny Miller's approach is to survival and sustainability.

Never condescending or facile, the book's gentle `repetitive' encouragement is enjoyable and powerful. I loved it

Gabrielle Blackman-Sheppard (aka Bi-Polar Girl)
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