Complete surrender to Life is not inaction, it is deploying great intelligence!
A young reader told me, in response to my blogpost of yesterday, that the idea of letting go and trusting the process of Life, of living dangerously, in complete surrender, conflicted with free will. He suggested that the very fact that you are endowed with the ability to think is evidence of the need to employ your free will in all circumstances. I don’t believe the young man is wrong with his reasoning or understanding. The truth is, in any situation, you have both the choice and the right to use your discretion, your judgment, to do what you want to do. But the truth also is that not always will your efforts deliver the results that you deserve or you want. So, complete surrender, really does not mean inaction; it does not mean you must not do what you can and must do. It only means that you must leave, surrender, the outcome, the results, to a Higher Energy, to Life, while you choose to remain unfrustrated with the outcomes.
I received an email from a reader of my Book Fall Like A Rose Petal yesterday. He said he had run up a sizeable debt in his business and was ‘suffering with the way Life was treating him’. He has three children and his parents are totally bed-ridden – struck by Parkinson’s and dementia. He wrote: “I do everything diligently. I work hard. I pray. I am dutiful to my parents and family. But my business just isn’t picking up. I don’t know what to do. Day in, day out, I am suffering.” Now, in this reader’s case, his free will is in full deployment – he’s doing everything possible as a business owner, parent, son and spouse to deal with his Life. But he’s suffering only because he expects his ‘righteous’ actions to turn around his business fortunes. To end his suffering, all the man must do is to drop all expectations that his efforts must add up to a reversal of his business fortunes in the timeframe that he is defining; while simply continuing to peg away daily on doing all that he can, he must and he is doing.
Simply, Life does not operate on a ‘Quality Effort = Quality Result’ paradigm. Life does not also operate on a time scale we humans practice. Life has a mind of its own and operates at its own pace. Things happen only when they happen. Period.
Therefore, what we must all understand is that employing free will, righteousness, sincerity, talent, integrity of Purpose, none of these can guarantee us the results we expect. In fact, there are no guarantees in Life. Surrendering to this reality is the only way to journey through Life without suffering. When what you expect doesn’t come your way, despite your best efforts, then don’t think something is wrong with you. It only means that you must learn to surrender your expectations. Internalizing this learning is also about employing free will – where you are recognizing that sometimes the most intelligent thing to do, to be unfrustrated with Life, is to do your best and leave the rest to Life!
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|Rajratnam and Gupta: Picture Courtesy – Internet|
A recent story in The New York Times caught my attention. It was written by an Indian, Anita Raghavan. And featured another Indian – the former McKinsey & Co boss, Rajat Gupta. The story talked about Gupta’s term in prison, alongside one-time friend and business partner Raj Rajaratnam – both men are convicted on charges of insider trading and are serving time at the Federal Medical Center Devens, in Ayer, Massachusetts, northwest of Boston, with 1000 other inmates. Raghavan seems to have pieced together information from a former Devens inmate, David Morgan, on Gupta’s time in prison. According to Morgan, reports Raghavan, Gupta seems to have accepted his imprisonment as “destiny”.