Have you ever had a goal in mind, yet it seemed so far off? Have you ever been so fixated on accomplishing something that you found yourself impatient, irritable, or frustrated when someone or something seemed to get in the way of what you wanted?
I see so many people, myself included, rushing around trying to get somewhere on time or forcing something to happen on some kind of schedule. We create a lot of undue stress. Often, we blame the stress on others like our boss, kids, spouse, or even a circumstance. However, if we look at the situation more deeply, we will see, we are the ones putting the stress on ourselves. We do this by setting unrealistic expectations or timelines and by getting attached to things being exactly the way we want it, exactly when we want it. When we don’t get the instant gratification that we desire, or we think someone or something is getting in our way, we get frustrated.
Often, we’re not even aware that it is we who are creating our own stress. What I find to be true is that our frustration is simply our ego tricking us into thinking we’re in control, that we have the ability to force things to happen in our timing. Yet, ironically, this is frequently the exact thing that keeps us from seeing a clear way to attaining the thing we desire.
This leads me to the reason I shared the Lao Tzu quote at the top of this article, “Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” Some may read this and think it’s advocating for laziness and doing nothing. I have a different interpretation. If either way, you’ll accomplish nothing, doing so without the busyness is a much more pleasant option. The same amount gets done, but you are not stressed out in the process and are able to enjoy it. Life is meant to be enjoyed now, not later.
“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” Also encourages us to consider our attitude and perspective when setting out to accomplish a goal. It is good to have goals to strive toward. Yet, HOW we arrive at the goal is incredibly important. There’s a big difference between rushing to our goal, angrily bowling everyone over along the way to get to our desired outcome and navigating the journey with ease and patience for the twists, turns, and hiccups that might happen along the way. With the latter mindset, seeming obstacles may turn into valuable lessons and redirect us to something even better than we imagined. This is a difference we need to realize. And, we are the only ones who can do this for ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect. I get caught up in the drama of my own ego just like everyone else. But, I can usually bring myself out of it or at least allow someone else to remind me of what I truly believe. We need to enjoy the journey. When we slow down long enough to truly be present, we are able to see the gifts every situation brings.
So, the next time you find yourself rushing to the goal or worried that you’re somehow missing out; I encourage you to pause, breathe, and take inventory of the moment. What is working? Where can you let go a little and give yourself the space to go with the flow of what is happening right now? If you can give yourself the space to step back and see the big picture, you just might realize, everything is actually in perfect timing!