Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.― Eckhart Tolle
Holding on to the past
We all do it at some level. We hold on to the stories from our past. The stories of who we are and what we are capable of. The stories of who we are supposed to be, and what we are not capable of.
It’s natural to want to hold onto the past. We are wired to do it, because it keeps us safe. We use our beliefs formed in the past to navigate the obstacles that arise for us in the present. We take the learnings and meanings that came out of our challenges from before and believe that they are adequate to prepare us for the challenges to come.
We all feel smart when we see a big corporation do it. Kodak fails to recognize that the future isn’t the same as the past so they fail to innovate and learn new strategies. They get stuck. The future arrives and passes them by because they weren’t prepared for it. They got stuck on believing that current strategies would be sufficient for the future.
How many of us are doing the same without realizing it? We think that our 40 year old bodies can do the same things that our 20 year old bodies were able to do and then wonder why we got fat or injured. We decide that once we’ve got the good job all we have to do is keep doing what we’ve been doing, then wonder why we get passed over for promotion in favor of these ‘kids’ who don’t know how to do it the ‘right’ way. We wake up feeling disconnected and lonely because we’ve continued using the same strategies for making friends that worked when we were in our teens or twenties.
But most of us don’t equate our current state to a ‘problem’ in ourselves. We are doing what we know works, because it worked before, which means that it should work again. We fail to see that we are the Kodak of our own lives, and often end up blaming the world around us for not giving us the things that it ‘should’ since we’ve done everything ‘right’.
We’ve become stuck.
Where surrender comes in
At this point you’ve got two options:
- You can keep doing what you’re doing and hope that the world changes.
- You can surrender your ‘rightness’ and try something else.
Option 1 feels the easiest, but it keeps you right where you are at. Option 2 is going to be uncomfortable, but will change the situation. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ surrender that is guaranteed to work for you. You will have to experiment to see what gets you where you want to go.
Here are a couple places you can start:
your‘why’. Take a hard look at your life. WHY are you getting out of bed every day? If the answer is “because that’s what I’m supposed to do” it might be time to dig a little deeper into what you want to accomplish in the world.
your‘how’. If you are excited about your ‘why’ then it might be time to surrender how you get there. Find your accountabilibuddyand brainstorm some different ways to get there. If they are uncomfortable then they are worth trying out. Read a book and actually do the exercises it offers you.
- Surrender your beliefs. Do you think everybody is out to get you? That everybody would take advantage of you given an honest chance? Do you believe that you aren’t destined for greatness? Do you believe that it has to be hard? It might be time to surrender some of those beliefs in order to move you forward.
- Surrender your outcomes. Many of us choose goals that aren’t ambitious enough, goals which keep us small. What if you surrendered to the idea that you could do MORE? Give up the way that you measure your ‘why’ currently and pick something more ambitious.
- Surrender your habits. It’s all well and good to have a big exciting ‘why’ and have a really good process for getting there. But it doesn’t do you any good if you never actually start DOING it. Maybe it’s time to get uncomfortable and start changing your daily habits in order to start
You don’t have to
Here’s the kicker. You don’t have to do any of this. Nobody can force you to surrender, it can only come from within you. Look at your life, look at how you feel on a regular basis. Look at your
Are you ready to surrender to the future?