Why is it all too common to find ourselves questioning our circumstances or analyzing our choices? We may attempt to plan out the perfect event, career path, educational journey and even a set point to identify ourselves as established. Along this mental journey of a preplanned life, we may often run into obstacles that take us off course and interrupt our perfectly planned adventure. This usually leads us to become aggravated, distraught, disappointed and sometimes even helpless. Here is the point our mental chatter beings to increase in volume. Our questions begin to take hold of our days and dominate each moment. We may ask; why did this have to happen, why did my plans go wrong, why did I get the short end of the stick, why did I waste so much time?
The confusion and friction here dwells not in the choices we made, but in the need to have our lives unfold in ways we can predict. When we are too busy attempting to orchestrate our lives before our “performance day” arrives, we simply create a shell of an experience filled with no substance. The substance of our lives dwells in the unpredictable nature of our adventure. It is often the path we overlooked that leads us to begin the adventure we imagine and may ultimately lead to our desired destination.
Now this is not to say that planning ahead of time is of no use, nor does it mean that holding a vision of our ideal experiences in our mind should be discarded. It means quite the opposite. Our objective is to see our goal through and enjoy the experiences which come along with that. Our objective is not to arrange the time of our goals arrival or how it will come into fruition. What does achieving our desired state have to do with how rapidly we experience it? Nothing. Similarly, what does knowing all the answers beforehand, to create an answer to a question, teach us about the problem itself? Again, nothing. If our intention is to live a life where our goal or desired state is the reality we experience, then all that is needed is the vision itself and the courage to act upon it.
Our answers to our most imports questions reveal themselves when we listen and do not try to understand, rather, we understand effortlessly. Maxwell Maltz, in his book Psycho-Cybernetics, details this message wonderfully. He adds, that when we act upon our goal, the how and the when we so desperately seek, simply take care of themselves.
How will listening give us the answers we seek? When we are in a receptive state, as seen in a conversation, we are then undergoing some form of learning. Our actions are tamed and we are completely attuned to the speaker and the message. Now it’s easy to mentally refute the points being communicated to us, or simply wait for a pause so we can quickly add our “correct” assertions and point of view, but this is not learning. This is needless tinkering.
When we are truly listening we are neither for nor against the message being shared with us, we are completely present in that moment. That moment alone is one of clarity. There is no second guessing, no modifying, no refuting, no supporting, no friction and no confusion. We are a student and the message is our teacher. Waiting for a pause in communication in order for us to state our “correct” interpretation, does not teach us anything new. If we allow our needed answers to come to us, we would no longer have to exert so much energy to find them.
Too often our most trying situations that leave us continually stumped, can be solved with a fresh perspective. Our own thinking got us to where we were and if we are not happy there, it is not the same thoughts we had that will free us from that sticking point.
Have our current circumstances unfolded because we were the ones who set them into motion? Have they been long and drawn out because we refused to listen to the simplest answers, separate from our “correct” analysis? Have we simply liked the idea of something as opposed to the thing itself? Have we been fighting to hold onto a limiting belief system just because the recognition of something which could free us from our present trappings would cause us to lose face? Have we asked too many questions in this same fashion, which led us in a circle of disappointment? Yes…
Things happen as they should, because as soon as we set our mind on something, we already put into motion a chain of seemingly unconnected events and encounters, which bring to us exactly what we seek. We are frequently tested to see if we are truly prepared for what we desire and have become the person who is aligned with that vision. When we find ourselves “stuck” it is because there is a lesson there we have yet to learn. The longer we remain stuck, the more we have refused to shift our perspective from narrow to broad. As soon as we understand our perceived constraint, we move forward, a step closer to our ultimate vision of happiness.
Will you choose to remain stuck or will you be free from the chains you tied around yourself?
The snow falls, each snowflake in its appropriate place.
– Zen Proverb