I am a recovering “make it happen” kind of girl. I used to believe that I needed to figure everything out, work hard, and somehow PROVE to the universe (and to others) that I was worthy of success. I often felt alone, but completely independent and in charge of my life.
Does this sound like you? I think we fear that if we are not putting in LOTS of effort, worry, and striving then it means that we are somehow unworthy or lazy or passive. That we need to chase our goals with dedication and focus. This is part of our societal conditioning, the shadow of the American culture (at least for Americans).
But what I have discovered is quite the opposite. There is an undercurrent to life, in fact it IS life itself, that is available to you at all times. You can either flow with this current, or swim against it. It seems that mostly we swim against it, creating resistance and exhaustion. Have you ever been caught swimming in an undertow? EXHAUSTING! If you are tired of swimming, give flowing with the current a try.
Flowing with the current of life is an act of faith and co-creation with the universe. It means being open to receive the signals that life is sending you. It means trusting that there are forces bigger than you at work on your behalf. It means that suddenly things become SO MUCH EASIER.
Can you allow things to be easy? To know when to surrender? To try living without goals?
What do you think will happen? That you’ll become a homeless, non-productive member of society? That others will judge you for being lazy?
Here’s what I learned when I experimented with giving up goals:
- Goals are not necessary to progress or growth. In fact, most of the time they take us out of the present moment, where life occurs, and where true shifts can happen.
- Goals usually have us focus on a set outcome, which is assuming that our goal is the best outcome for us, and I have learned that the opposite is often true.
- Life has a flow and ease to it that we can only experience when we are open to changing direction, to responding to cues from the universe that we are often blind to when we are goal-focused.
- Goals cause us to judge ourselves, which always take us out of the joy of what we are doing.
- Often when we do reach a goal, we immediately focus on the next goal, without pausing to appreciate and reflect on what we’ve just achieved. We live a future-oriented life, rather than living in the present moment, the only place where joy is experienced.
This doesn’t mean that we can’t have direction or desires. But it does mean recognizing that struggle or suffering is a sign that we are resisting life and have given all of our attention to our goal at the expense of our joy.
Coach Yourself Challenge
Examine your beliefs about how you create in this world. Do you find what I’ve proposed absurd, impossible, crazy? Do you believe that you need to struggle to survive, that you create everything alone, that you need to work hard to make things happen?