I was taught that I had to work hard to achieve my goals. My father said, “Always finish what you start”. So, that’s what I did. Also, I learned that hard work will be rewarded with raises and possibly promotions. And being a hard and committed worker, that’s what I did throughout my career. But it seemed that the hard work in our society was based upon a model of competition and scarcity. When I worked under this model I was often anxious and fearful, since I worried about not achieving my goals and not earning enough money. Most of us know that when we suffer from too much stress because we are fearful of the outcomes, then we actually don’t produce the highest quality product and we don’t enjoy the overall process. Over time I began to realize that I had to change my thinking, that there must be a better way.
The better way involved in seeing the world as full of abundance and possibilities. Also, that it is fine to work hard and to have goals, but I now needed to “let go” of the outcome. Not meeting someone’s expectation was no longer my primary motivator. I learned to let go of what I thought someone else wanted. Letting go was very freeing! Most of the stress and anxiety I felt was tied up in an expected outcome. And sometimes that outcome may have been unrealistic, which I attribute to being slightly perfectionistic. Had to let go of that one, for sure.
So, now I still work hard, but let go of the end-result and realize that I’ll give it my best…and that’s good enough. I have faith that the outcome may morph into something that’s even better than what I originally anticipated. I now focus on being present to the process. I now let the outcome unfold in a more relaxed and organic manner, rather than forcing it. And now, I’m not as stressed and fearful as I once was, but calm and in the moment, letting the fruits of my labor manifest in surprising ways.
Please let me know what you think.