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Work with life, not against it

19th Jul 20166m11s

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I want to talk about letting go of control in your life. There's so much we want to achieve, there are so many things we want, and we do everything we can to get those things, and, yet, we have to admit that deep down, there's no guarantee that no matter how hard we work and how much effort we put into something, that we'll actually achieve what it is that we're after.

Whatever that may be, whether it's money, partner, a better life, just more happiness, etc. And even with this acknowledgement, we still push and pursue our goals and our dreams because we still believe that if we put in enough effort, if enough luck comes our way, then we will achieve them.

We generally go with the assumption that nothing catastrophic, that nothing showstopping is going to happen to us along this path towards success. But of course, we see this happen to other people. Other people may get blocked, other people may have problems, and we know that these things may happen to us as well, but we sort of live everyday trusting and hoping that it won't happen.

Indeed, this is actually a very positive approach to life. Of course we know that things would go wrong, but why think about that? Why not just focus on the things that can go right, and just keep focusing on getting to one's goal?

However, letting go of control and acknowledging that you might not get what you want can allow you to be more powerful in the pursuit of your goals. You have a goal, and maybe having that goal creates an expectation within you that you need to get to that goal, that you need to achieve it. And if you don't get there or if you find yourself going off track, or distracted or something comes that just takes your focus away from it, you feel unhappy because you're not moving towards your goal.

One way of looking at that is as such: you're working towards a goal and then something happens that stops you from progressing; and by being unhappy about that lack of progress, you're essentially unhappy with the reality in front of you. So you're arguing with reality, even though you have no control over it. The only thing you can control is how you react to what happens, not what happens. And yet, it's difficult for us to accept this because we want what we want so badly, and so we don't want anything different to that happening.

But what if we were to acknowledge that obstacles are meant to be there, and that things are meant to go wrong? and that indeed, we might not even get to the end goal?

That's how life actually works, if you think about it. Think about all the things you want. I'm guessing that you probably achieve a lot of them. Some people achieve everything they want - lucky them - but most of us only achieve some of the things we want and we certainy don't get everything we want. If we do get everything, maybe it takes a lot longer than we expected because other things come up, or maybe we don't quite get what we originally thought we wanted. Or maybe it takes so long that by the time we're getting close to what we want, we sort of change our mind or we've changed as a person.

In any case, what you set out to achieve and what you set out to accomplish might not be where you actually end up reaching, and that's how life is for most people. And once we internalize that lesson, once we really accept that and embrace that, then we realize that we don't actually need to argue with reality when things don't quite go the way we want, because that occurrence is actually normal. Things not going the way we want, things not working out is a normal part of life. Instead of arguing with it, we have to ask ourselves: Can I be okay with that? Can I embrace that?.

I might have a perfect vision for my life of things that I want in my life. But I don't control lif and I don't control what happens outside of me. So I might not be able to create that perfect vision exactly the way I want. I'm going to try, I'm going to persevere, but I have to accept that things may happen which force me to change course. What I need to do then is look at what's in front of me in reality, and make my vision and life perfect based on those things. I need to work with what I'm given, work with the events that take place, work with the people that come into my life, and create the life that I want out of that.

In other words, I have to align myself with reality. If I can do that, then I can go ahead and live a fulfilling life without being upset that things aren't quite working out the way I originally wanted. That's a much more powerful way to live.