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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Get out of your own way!

There are times in Life when nothing will go your way. There will be so much unsaid, so much unresolved. And it may just seem like everything is wrong about your Life. Every effort you make, each step you take, you will be stonewalled, tripped or pushed to a corner. The mind will invite you to despair. Decline that invitation artfully and let Life lead you. You get out of your own way!

Relax. Get yourself a cup of tea or grab a drink if you can. The mind is like a tennis-ball practice machine. It keeps spewing out worries and fears endlessly. These debilitating thoughts will tell you that you can and must solve the problems that face you just now. But what if you have already tried all that you can think up of. And failed. And the problems persist. The very thought that there’s no way forward may force you to allow your fears to take hold of you. Please don’t let them. Your fearing something is not going to take that something away. Life is to be faced. Not feared. So, let Life happen as it has been and as it is happening. These are times when accepting that there’s no choice is an intelligent choice in itself.  Exercise it.

I recently met the CEO of one of India’s leading retail brands. He shared with me how, about 15 years ago, a vindictive police officer, illegitimately and extra-constitutionally shut down all his stores and threw him in jail, where he had to spend 89 days. “There seemed no way out. This man had cases foisted against me under every provision of the law. It was a legal maze. And with our business shut down, cash was just not available. My family tried to mobilize something, both financially and legally, but it took three months. I was very clear that he could take away everything from me. But he couldn’t take away my spirit. I refused to give up because my conscience was clean. We had not done anything wrong and were simply a victim of circumstance and time,” he said. After a protracted legal battle that took a few years, this CEO was acquitted with a clean chit, has since rebuilt his business and his brand is one of India’s most admired. He told me, as I took leave of him, “Some nights are long and dark. But if it is night, know for sure that a dawn will follow!”

When we try to solve some of our problems and don’t meet with much success, intelligence lies in letting go, letting Life take over, and getting out of our own way. The truth is that Life has always been flowing on its own. You and I have done precious little to make our lives happen. Getting out of your own way is not inaction. In fact, it is a more sensible action than to be perpetually frustrated and fearful! When you get out of your own way, you can see the way that Life has laid out for you clearly! And that way, always, takes you to where you must eventually arrive!

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