Goal for 2013: Strive for Less
It’s the end of another year and many bright, successful people are making resolutions and setting goals. In all likelihood the ‘theme’ of those proclamations will involve doing or wanting more. You see, we live in a world that defines success by more. More money. A more luxurious car. More expensive clothing. More extravagant vacations. When most people think about success, they think about adding things to their life.
The problem with that way of thinking is that you begin to believe that true joy and satisfaction comes from things outside yourself. But the fact is that your ability to succeed and be happy is in direct proportion to your willingness to let go and stop striving. Although it sounds contradictory, this is absolutely true. Case in point - have you ever tried to find something you misplaced, only to be maddened by your inability to find it? In exasperation you finally give up looking - you stop striving - only to find it shortly thereafter. It’s a truth of the universe. When we try too hard we lose connection with our most creative self. Our brains shut down. We wear ourselves out.
The notion of success comes from simplicity and clarity. You can do it all. You just can’t do it all today and you can’t have it all right now. There is never enough time. You won’t always be right. Perfection does not exist. Mistakes are inevitable. You don’t - and can’t - know everything.
These are tough realities to admit. Unfortunately many people refuse to accept reality because it conjures up vulnerability and fear. And so foolishly and naively people buy more, eat more, try to control more…only to fall farther and farther away from the very thing we really want more - peace.
A controlling nature may be destroying your initiative as well as the initiative of others on the team. Lighten up on the load you put on yourself and your employees. Face your fears. Think about what you really love. Think about some of the things you value deeply. I doubt those are ‘things’ but more likely people and intangibles.
The 20th century American theologian Reinhold Niebur wrote an untitled prayer that has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs. You don’t have to be in recovery to let it guide you. In fact the 27 words of The Serenity Prayer outline a peaceful way to live life.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
So as we enter 2013, consider the following actions of doing less and gaining more:
When you engage in what seems like ‘less’ you actually create ‘more’ opportunity to get what you really want - your dreams. That’s when less is more. That is when you become more.
Have faith in this seemingly paradoxical model for living. Have faith in yourself. Let go of all the daunting thoughts about things that need doing so you can make space for being. It is then that you will find peace on Earth and good will to others.
Wishing you, your family and your staff many blessings throughout the coming New Year.
Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at email@example.com
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