We all have a wishlist of things we want to have, enjoy and experience in life.
We tell ourselves that when we get those things, we will be happy and/or successful.
And when it doesn’t happen or turn out the way we wanted to, we are disappointed. We feel sadness, resentment and sometimes, very sorry for ourselves. Some of us also feel like failures when we don’t accomplish certain things.
Nobody enjoys the feeling of not getting what they want, but sometimes I can’t help but think that we set ourselves up to feel that way.
We come up with elaborate plans for our life.
“By the time I am [insert age here], I want to be married, with 2 kids who go to great schools and get good grades, a job that pays 5 figures, a loving husband who is fit, tall and successful, a beautiful house in a good neighborhood, etc., etc., etc…” That list can get pretty long (and detailed) for some people.
The problem with a list like this is that it is too specific with an attached timer that is counting down. And fast.
In a way, we’re setting ourselves up for failure because we are striving for the ideal picture of what we think will make us happy and we have given ourselves a hard deadline.
And really, a lot of times our deadlines are not very practical because we are all impatient in nature.
We want to get rich now. We want to find our soulmate now. We want to be successful now. (Oh and while we’re doing all this we’re also busy comparing ourselves to those around us to see if they’re doing better than we are.)
So what ends up happening is that if we do not get these things we set up for before we turn 30, 35, 40, we end up low, miserable, and with a little less hope for what’s ahead.
“What screws us up most in life is the picture in our heads of how it’s supposed to be.” – Socrates
But who told us we needed these things to be happy? Why are we putting this personal pressure on ourselves to achieve our own version of picture perfect?
I think we should all give up. Just let go.
I did it and it’s working out better than I thought. And things are moving faster then when I had a solid defined plan.
So what do we do then? Everyone needs a plan in life at least, right?
But here’s an idea – what if we gave up defining what that picture of success and happiness looks like to us in our heads?
What if we gave up on the details of what we want to actually have and we focus on the details of how we want to feel, instead?
A lot of times we think the things we want to have will eventually make us feel happy, but then when we get it we realize another area in our life that’s not as fulfilled, and that makes us a little less happy again. (We’re complex creatures.)
So what if we started setting goals like, “I want to have happy, fulfilling relationships in my life; I want to wake up in the morning excited for what’s ahead; I want to love my job and my colleagues; I want to be financially comfortable and have zero debt; I want to love myself wholeheartedly and share love with anyone I meet; Everyday I’m excited because that means I’m one day closer to meeting my soulmate.”
Really, it could be anything. But as long as it’s tied into an emotion.
“When I was 5-years-old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
When you focus on how you want to feel versus what you want to have, the universe will then give you what you need to make that feeling happen.
You don’t need to worry about the details, leave that to the higher powers.
And when things start to line up and you realize that you are happy with what you have, that is more fulfilling than getting what you thought you wanted but then realizing it didn’t make you as happy as you thought it would.
You just have to trust that everything is happening for a reason. If things go wrong, just trust and turn your tragedies into blessings.
“Things don’t happen to you. They happen for you.” – Lisa Nichols
When you give up your attachment to control the outcome of your life and have it shaped based on your idea of what a “perfect life” is, then magic will start to happen and you will be in flow.
See yourself as coursing down a river, and being guided by the current to where you need to go. Have faith that everything is happening for a reason, and there’s something to learn behind it all.
Do not resist.
When you trust that all the dots are just lining up to take you to where you need to go, and as long as you keep remembering how you want to feel at the end of it, it will all make sense one day and you will truly feel happy with where you are in that moment.
But first – you have give up. Take the plunge. And then hold on tight to faith.
Here’s a quick video below by Oprah exemplifying this message so beautifully. She shares the story of how when she finally learned to surrender, the doors to her future finally opened.
“God can dream a bigger dream for me, for you, than you can ever dream for yourself. When you’ve worked as hard, and done as much, and strived, and tried, and given, and plead, and bargained, and hoped… Surrender. When you have done all that you can do and there’s nothing left for you to do, give it up. Give it up to that thing that is greater than yourself, and let it then become a part of the flow.” – Oprah Winfrey
Are you willing to give up and surrender and see where that takes you? Share your thoughts with us!