What if you had a relationship with failure that had no meaning to it?
I asked myself this question the other day. A cascade of run-of-the-mill emotions showed up as I kicked the idea around, most along the lines of freedom and peace. But eventually I arrived at realizing the most important thing this paradox would provide me is time.
One of the biggest pitfalls to a blissful life is being focused on the result, rather than being in action. This goes against the natural wiring of the human condition, as action is the scariest thing to survival. So we continue to fall back on our outcomes to let us know how we’re doing in life, completely stepping over what we went through to produce those outcomes.
Suffering is optional. It only occurs when we’re emotionally attached to our success or failure. Outside of legitimate physical pain, we can only suffer when we stay fixated on an outcome and the subsequent meaning behind it — i.e. what we make up about it.
Which brings me back to my first question: what would it be like to have a relationship with failure with no meaning about?
The time we spend analyzing outcomes and results cannot be overlooked — it’s incessant. It’s happening in our minds all the time. And there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is there’s no stopping it. That conversation in your head is permanent.
The good news is you can distinguish it for what it is — an idiot.
Contrary to popular belief, that inner dialogue is not a genius. It’s simply designed to protect you from perceived harm with concise and succinct direction. And since action is the greatest threat, it will consistently direct toward the path of least resistance.
Two of the greatest sources of a fulfilling life are growth and contribution — both of which require immense amounts of action. As things get difficult, we build walls comprised of justifications, re-directions, and excuses. Rather than taking it on for what it is: another fucking growth opportunity.
It’s entirely possible for you to view everything in your life as a growth opportunity. It’s entirely possible for you to view everyone in your life as a coach. The only thing getting in your way from that freedom and peace is the way you think everything should be.
Life provides clues. People provide feedback. Ignoring the internal noise in our heads is critical to grasping the powerful lessons to both success and fulfillment that are gifted to us every single day.
Progress breeds happiness. Doing a little bit better, handling a little bit more, and reaching a slightly higher level are all simple ways to elevate our baseline mood. Moreover, if the progress being made impacts others in a positive manner, the effect is multiplied ten-fold.
We get so distracted by the map, we ignore the territory. It may not be perfect, but neither are we. Our life events give us openings to grow. The feedback from others on how we’re impacting them give us a way to contribute.
Keep the main thing the main thing. Life is one giant fucking growth opportunity.
And it’s breathtaking beautiful.