Do you know the saying “It was just a lot of hot air”? We use it when we want to say that someone’s actions and intentions didn’t bring any results in spite of the effort put in.
You really want something, you put in due diligence and… nothing. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t move an inch. Its stuck. Like glue. Do you experience that sometimes? I used to many times. Oh, and “the due diligence” I define here not only as concrete work around an issue, but also as energy put into worrying and fretting. I’ve experienced it when (1.) I was building my business, when (2.) I was trying to change (not yet exchange) my husband, or when (3.) I couldn’t sleep at night because I was going bankrupt.
I didn’t know then what I know now. Which is this: You have to know where your effort actually matters. And where it doesn’t.
In the above mentioned situations my efforts went where they shouldn’t have. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life. That’s why I’m so smart today:)
So where shouldn’t your efforts go? They shouldn’t go into those aspects of your problems over which you have no control. Even though you really want to believe you have it. Or when you think the world will end if you lose it. Instead make great efforts in things which really do belong to you and over which you have tangible influence. Let’s use my examples:
Building a business. I didn’t have any control over when my kids were getting sick and I wasn’t able to work with clients. When kids were sick I didn’t let go of work; I was afraid I would lose my business. I was running between dosing medicine, taking temperature, cooking, cleaning and my computer and clients. I was mentally exhausted.
Years of ill directed efforts taught me to let go. Not try to do two things at once because it just wouldn’t work. Or it will work but very poorly.
What did I have control over? The kind and the quality of action taken during the time kids were healthy and at daycare. And over cultivating my trust that it would all work out.
Changing my husband. I didn’t have any control over him actually. And over his willingness to change. This lesson was hard to learn. What did I have control over? My own reactions, thoughts and emotions flowing from them. Over cultivating my inner peace in spite of outer chaos. Over my actions coming from that inner peace. I’ve learned all of that over the years of struggle. But when I got it, everything became easy.
Bankruptcy hovering over me. I didn’t have any control over the world’s economic situation and over the dropping values of my investments. Nor over the fact that I couldn’t sell any of them at the time. I did have control over remaining calm and planning my next steps. After exhausting myself by worrying about the situation, I let go and I accepted what was. It turned out not to be the end of the world – I still had two hands to work with and a head to come up with new ideas. Not bad.
Now I see clearly the difference between things I can and can’t control and I mark it with thick black line. When I stir my efforts in the right direction I see results. Wish you the same.