Stop Trying So Hard

One of the ways to really stress yourself out in life is to try so hard to have things exactly the way you want them all the time. Life is quite dyamic and trying to have everything be exactly the way you want will just depress you. Instead, try hard with yourself to be the amazing person you are and watch the outside world start to paradoxically morph to your will as you take care of business within yourself.

I’m always fascinated by this principal. It’s like quicksand or the boa constrictor. The more you fight against life and people for how you think they should be, the more they will push away. The more you take a step back and make your mind and yourself magnificent, the more you will see life naturally become all you could ever want it to be. It’s a frickin’ paradox that I still don’t understand to this day and don’t always follow, but the principal is so sound.

This summer, I’ve worked very hard to adopt this principle. And I haven’t always succeeded. But I realize that as I adopt it more and work on myself, I can feel ‘shifts’ happen in the people around me. Last night, Thursday, May 15th, 2014, I felt a ‘shift’ like a familiar feeling in the force if I were to relate it to the Star Wars movies – a sense of peace. It really is amazing when you work on yourself first, but it takes a lot of time if you’ve been expecting others to be a certain way for you.

When I wrote about our choices in life and learning to let go of outcomes, I talked about how the removal of expectations was a path toward peace. As I think about specifically what I should stop trying so hard about, a few things come to mind:

  • Don’t worry about what others think, even if they are people you care a great deal about. This doesn’t mean you ignore the person, but it does mean you love them without expecting anything in return.
  • Don’t worry about your career path in the sense that you are trying to impress others and make a name for yourself. Just learn valuable skills and do good work. Show that work to your peers and take an interest in theirs.
  • Don’t worry about how long you’ll live for. Just do the things each day that will help you live a long happy life, such as exercise, healthy eating, stress reduction, and having deep and meaningful connections.
  • Don’t take things personally that others do. It’s often more about them than it is you. We’re each living and things change constantly. Life is change – people change and circumstances change.

Those are just a few things to not try so hard in. The biggest lesson this year is to try hard with myself – to learn new skills, to be a better person, to learn to love and respect people’s desires and listen to others. These are skills that come in handy no matter what your circumstance.

Jim Rohn, one of my mentors who is no longer alive said it well, “Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” I think that great quote applies to not just our day jobs, but our interactions all throughout life.

This is easier said than done… Especially when emotions are deeply rooted or affected. I’ve found for myself, that even when I feel intense emotions that I still am able to make the choice in the moment to read, learn a new skill, or show love and care for those around me. That is possible even while in pain.

I send my love and care for you. Play around with how to not try so hard with others, but instead put yourself in a position to succeed. I think you’ll find that people you care about will start to come back as you become a person now better than you have been and you’ll begin to attract people toward you rather than having to attempt to fish them in your life.

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