Do you believe that you have the power to control the events that happen in your life? Or do you feel like there are factors working against you that make what happens be outside of what you can control?
If you would answer in the affirmative to the first question, then you would have an internal locus of control. People who agree more with the second set of circumstances would have more of an external locus of control.
It is an idea that was first brought into the mainstream by Julian Rotter in the 1950s.
Who Is in Control of the Universe?
The underlying question to consider with the external and internal locus of control is this: do you control your life, or does something else (like God) have mastery over it? Although this might be a fairly simple idea at first, the answer is something that has a profound significance over what someone believes from a spiritual standpoint.
If you believe in a god, then there is a greater chance that you will have an external locus of control. People who tend to be agnostic can fit into either category. Those who believe that humanity is the only resource on this planet with conscious thought will usually have an internal locus of control.
This issue goes beyond the idea of “luck” or making “good” decisions repetitively. It is a foundational premise about who is in control of the future, and how someone can turn what they envision into reality.
Does the Focus of Control Actually Matter?
Whether you have an external or internal locus of control doesn’t ultimately matter when making decisions about what you encounter in the present. If you see someone who is hungry and you have a sandwich, then either person can decide to give that individual something to eat.
The outcome is the same, whether you believe that God placed this individual in your path so that they could be fed, or you are simply doing it out of your compassion for a fellow human.
There are numerous questions that can arise about our place in the universe when we focus on who is in control of it. The answers are not always easy to find either, but this knowledge can help us all to make our planet a better place to live.