Updated: Oct 7, 2021
If you let go a little, you’ll find a little peace.
If you let go a lot, you’ll find a lot of peace.
If you let go absolutely, you find absolute peace and tranquility.
- Ajahn Chah, Buddhist forest monastic
I remember a conversation I once had with my brother, where we talked about the (perceived) successes and failures in our lives. Fundamentally, how we felt about what happened, depended on what lay within our sphere of influence, the areas where we had control over our lives. Perhaps, more accurately, it was about where we felt we had control.
As human beings, we massively overestimate the domains we have control over.
Despite what my mind will tell me, happiness (or sadness) is not created by anything outside of myself. Rather, my suffering is a result of the 95% of things that lie outside my control
Time to “let go and let God’.
Turns out, control freaks don’t like to let go.
But then I remembered that famous experiment which compared the happiness of a lottery winner and a paraplegic. Researchers found that whether one loses all their limbs or wins the lottery, after one year of whatever fate was experienced, the person in question reverts to the level of happiness they had before the good/traumatic event.
Isn’t that fascinating?
They say that we are a product of our habits, whether it’s to eat healthy, be a night owl, or see the glass half-empty. So what if you chose to create a habit, where you labelled everything that happened a success?
Stood up for a date? A great time to catch up on family emails!
Child threw up all over you? A fantastic opportunity to buy a new outfit!
Phone frozen? The perfect moment for a digital detox!
No time to fill up the fridge? Let’s go for pizza, kids!
When you label EVERYTHING in your life a success, something magical starts to happen. I, for one, started to feel very proud of myself - for everything from being stopped by the police, to losing my favourite necklace.
It was a completely new way of looking at everything – and so rewarding.
And so encouraging!
I am genuinely in awe of all my successes during my four decades on this planet.
As the late, great Wayne Dyer used to say “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.
I invite you all to try it. It’s really, really amazing.