“I suppose I do not have a choice.” You will hear this from many a person, who faced with having to postpone the wait for the delivery of a parcel promise or job offer, has no other option than to accept the cards that are dealt to him.
“It is what it is” is another expression that states that things are as they are because that is just the current reality.
However just because things are, does not mean that they ought to be. Just because you are unemployed does not mean that you ought to be penniless, hungry or homeless. Just keep trying to get that job, start some income generating project or marry rich. Since marrying rich is easier said than done, let’s look at what is within our control.
Eckhart Tolle, author of A New Earth says: “Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.”
This is an exercise in mental and emotional discipline. When things are not going well, it is natural, and probably expected, that we gravitate towards feelings of inadequacy and self doubt.
Worse, we can get stuck in a depressive rut in which we feel sorry for ourselves wondering why this must happen to us. The net effect of this kind of thinking is inertia: a loss of the physical and mental energy that we actually need to help tow us out of the muck.
To follow Eckhart’s suggestion, first accept the situation. This is not the same as saying you have no option. It is simply having the ability and the courage to recognise reality:
I have lost my job, she is gone, we have lost the deal and so on.
Secondly, engage the power of your thought processes. Losing your job is not the same as being unemployed. Getting divorced is not the same as being lonely and losing a business transaction is not the same as being bankrupt.
As Anthony J D’Angelo says, “if life doesn’t offer a game worth playing, invent a new one.” This means asking yourselves what else you can do based on your actual set of competencies. You can still see, speak and write. Interrogate yourself on the best use of your innate or nurtured talents for the situation at hand.
Steve Jobs was fired from his own company, Apple and that devastated him to the point where he met with David Packard of HP to apologise for having “failed” and “let down” the next generation of entrepreneurs in his field! All this happened at the very young age of thirty.
This did not, however, last for long and because he loved what he did, he set out to press the reset button and pick himself up. The rest is stuff of legend.
Next, try and do the same thing the thing that you love or are competent in, in a different way.
Einstein advises us that “you cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it.”
This means changing your way of being. I have heard of very successful business executives who, more than twenty years ago, could be heard shouting from the first floor by people walking on the ground floor in Harare’s first street. Steve Jobs was a screamer too, according to staff accounts.
Yet to get the best out of people and to stop losing talented people, business executives with a 180km per hour vision and energy, had to change their way of being to accommodate their staff huffing and puffing at a mere 6okm per hour.
Losing Apple was a huge wake up call for Jobs and I know the entrepreneur from Harare’s first street example has stood before all his executives on more than one occasion to say, it is my fault we lost such and such a deal.
Remember the saying, “if you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always got.” Make that change. When you do that, you have not only had the courage to recognise reality, you have acted on it too.
After that, simply keep trying. The moment you decide to achieve something, you automatically create an opportunity for failure. It is the yin and yang of life and you have to prevail on the side that gives you results.
Your day will weave in to darkness and daylight within the space of a few hours when you want to chuck the towel in or feel elated at the prospect of a successful deal only to be deflated an hour later. Keep trying.
You have to be the best you that you can be. Lessons from Steve Jobs and others are just that; lessons.
There is saying something to the effect do not be a faulty carbon copy of someone else when you can be a perfect you.
The Innerzela person is inspired first and disciplined second and for that inspiration to take place, you need to be you first. A last quote to end by Nisargadatta: “Realise that what you are, cannot be born nor die, and with all the fear gone, all suffering ends.”
Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. I am trying too.