A few years ago, I concluded that almost everything humans do is about trying to establish control – over ourselves, our associates and our lives.

So I was fascinated when Aviraj Sakhare, the 52nd person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, told me he has a philosophical objection to the concept.

Aviraj believes this obsession with control is both futile and counter-productive.

When you believe in control, Aviraj says, it encourages you to apply labels that don’t fit and to declare ‘case closed’ on situations that are always evolving.

So, earlier in his career, Aviraj flicked a switch in his mind, and stopped wanting to control things. 

The result? He’s more flexible and open-minded about whatever life throws at him, and he gives his direct reports more freedom to think for themselves.

Aviraj also stopped judging people, whether positively or negatively. He still forms opinions about people’s actions – but no longer uses those actions to definitively judge their personality.

Aviraj’s views made me think about my own mindset. I don’t try to control others, but I do try to control myself and my life. Perhaps I need to loosen the reins?