Nothing in Life is worth suffering for.
Not money. Not health. Not love. Not career. Nothing. And contrary to popular notion, Life is not about suffering. Yet we suffer in Life because we try to force outcomes. Don’t. Just do what you can do in a situation. Do your best. And let the outcomes take care of themselves. It is when we try to ensure outcomes that the strife, the struggle, the suffering begins.
A friend called yesterday to say that his attempts, over the last five years, to try his hand at business had all failed. He said he was out of money and out of luck. He confessed that he was gripped by fear and insecurity. He did not know what the future held for him. And he said he did not see a way out of this situation immediately. He wondered if I could share with him how to be calm in such a crisis and avoid suffering.
I told him that there are no methods to deal with Life. The best way is to do what you can and must do in a situation and live each day fully – engaged in turning the situation around, without bothering if the results were coming the way you wanted them to. There will be some times in Life when, despite your best efforts, the results will not come. This doesn’t mean something is lacking in your effort. It only means you must now try once more. Outcomes, I said, are not in our hand. Efforts are. We must be engaged in making our efforts with focus, purpose and joy – relentlessly. Leave the outcomes to themselves. If they happen as envisaged, great. If they don’t, we must learn to try again. It is only when we expect outcomes to be the way we want them to be that we suffer.
Think about why you force outcomes. Because of your wants. You want someone in your Life. So you desperately woo that person. If she rejects you, you suffer. You want more money. So you will do anything for it__even if you don’t like doing it. Because you don’t enjoy doing what you are doing, although you are making money, you suffer. You have been let down by someone. So you sue them. Because you want them to feel your pain. Little do you realize that in trying to bring them pain, you are hurting. Your want to fight your battle with them is causing you a lot of harm. Invariably, it is the wants that lead you to expectations of outcomes and therefore plunge you into suffering when they are not met.
So, the simplest way to avoid all suffering is to stop wanting. Just live Life fully not worrying about the outcomes. If the outcome’s meant for you, it will come your way. If it is not, it won’t. Why struggle? Why suffer? Know this__clearly, surely: We are the authors of all the struggle in our lives. We are the script writers of all our miseries. And so, it is up to us to change the stories of our lives.