|The most challenging and beautiful truth is that you are not in control of the outcome. No amount of forcing, wishing or controlling will guarantee your desired result in work, love, sport or life.Yes, you can train, prepare and set yourself up for the best chance of success. |
You can apply time, effort and devotion to your craft.
You can arm yourself with knowledge, insight and wisdom.But that is all.The rest is up to forces outside your control. This life truth can either engender panic in you, or wonder. Your life, your choice. If you find yourself white-knuckling your way to an outcome, here are some tips for embracing your lack of control:
Find wonder in uncertainty
|It is great to know things – when a new episode of your favourite podcast drops, what your loved one is up to on their travels overseas and that you are loved – but not everything can be known. The future is one of those things.|
The future is a wild, magical unknown, and with the right mindset this can instil a sense of wonder, awe and anticipation.
Challenge: When your mind drifts off into the future, swap a mindset of doom (“I have no idea what’s going to happen next and it’s stressing me out”) for a mindset of wonder (“I wonder what this next chapter has in store for me”). Gradually learn to favour curiosity over fear.
Soften your eyes
|When you get caught up in the trap of trying to control the uncontrollable, your body contracts and tightens, even the tiny muscles around the eyes. The more controlling you become the more tense you become, until you are a ball of contracted muscles and racing thoughts.|
Challenge: When you feel your body contracting with stress, soften the tiny muscles around your eyes. This triggers a relaxation response and sets of a chain of events in the body that take you out of control mode and into allowing mode.
Release the past
|The desire to control the future is an attempt to either replicate a positive event from the past, or to avoid a negative one. Spending a lot of time going over past events in your mind primes you to seek more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. When this seeking mechanism goes into overdrive, you develop the false believe you can predict and control the unpredictable and uncontrollable.|
Challenge: Practice letting thoughts of the past come and go without attaching to them, like cars going past. Feel free to dive into the archives of your mind to extract useful lessons, but don’t get stuck there. If you find yourself stuck in the past, come back to what you can see, hear and touch in the present moment.The future is a wild unknown; while you can prepare and train for what is to come, you cannot know or control the outcome. Allow this truth to be wondrous and relieving, instead of frustrating and terrifying.
It is when you allow life to unfold, instead of forcing it to happen, that life becomes richer, deeper and more meaningful.
To your extraordinary life,