Everyday I take a break from my work when I get to the point of being tired of what I am doing, and I usually go play basketball. The breaks that I enjoy the most are when I am alone on the court. Uninterrupted. I shoot, shot after shot. I enjoy trying to perfect my shot. I have an inner desire to become gifted. I have come to the point where I know what I need to do to consistently make shots, but I just don’t consistently do what I need to do.
The rim lets me know how I am doing. I love having it’s instant feed back. The loud clang of the rim challenges me to become better, and the soft swish of the net rewards me.
But today, I realized that the rim’s instant feed back is unnecessary.
I realized that I already knew if the shot was off course even before it hits the rim. I know by how I feel during the shot. I know if it is too short, or sailing wide left, and I know if the shot is perfectly on track.
I realized that I was concentrating on the result and not on how I felt during the shot. I was fixed on making my next shot (the destination of the ball), but not on how I should feel during the shot (the journey).
When I let go of my fixation on making shots and instead focused on how I felt during the shots, an amazing thing happened. I made way more shots. Why? I got rid of my self imposed pressure on the result, and became free to follow how I felt during the journey. I didn’t care if I made or missed a shot; I only cared if I was focused on feeling what I knew I should be feeling during the shot.
Our lives are the same way. We want to succeed so badly that we become fixated on succeeding. Our every thought and desire is to succeed in whatever thing it is. Sometimes we want to succeed badly enough that we do things against our conscience and better judgement. You see this happening in our schools. Students want to pass a class without putting in the work, so they turn to cheating, and when they aren’t caught, they continue cheating.
The world has recently seen what this pattern of cheating leads to in the likes of Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford. They wanted to succeed so badly in their financial businesses, that they lied and cheated for decades. They took their new investor’s money and gave it to their old investor’s, pretending that this money came from legitimate investments.
They let their fixation on succeeding rule their actions and look what it brought. It brought devastation to thousands of honest people who invested in their lies. It brought families heartache and devastation.
In the words of Joshua Marcus Manuel, “It hurts to look at yourself in the mirror and hate yourself, look into the mirror and wonder what ever happened to that smile that used to shine so bright. When you look at yourself, you see this version of “you” that your mind has created, someone that has become so distant and cold that nobody wants to be around. Empty eyes. Fragile bones. The only thing you have left are the lies you tell yourself everyday to survive, lies that have become your painful reality, lies that will swallow you whole and crush your insides, lies that have turned you into someone you never wanted to be.”
Let go. Let go of those fixations that are preventing you from living a successful life. The way to success and happiness comes from letting go and following your heart, from being in harmony with yourself.
Look at what this did for Mother Teresa. For over 45 years, she ministered to the poor and the sick. She lead 610 missions in 123 countries for people with AIDS, leprosy and other illnesses. She dedicated her life to being in harmony with her conscience; she was her best self.
What things do you need to let go of?
Let go of them.
What things does your heart ache to achieve?
Achieve those things of your heart and live a life of success in harmony and happiness. Remember, “It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” (Mark Twain) and “A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.” (Thomas Carlyle)
About The Author: Matt is the creator of Tiepedia – a website all about neckties. His longest streak of consecutively wearing a tie is 2 years and 5 days! (Don’t worry they were different ties) He loves life, his family, his heaven, and his sports (golf, basketball and college football).
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