Life is meant to be lived joyfully not dutifully. Should that end be your ultimate goal, the best strategy that you can use is to periodically give up some stuff in order to keep moving ahead in your journey of transformation.
Still, you are externally programmed against reaching the next level in your journey. You have been taught that, “winners do not quit and quitters do not win.” You are supposed to keep trying no matter what. Quitting communicates a message that you’ve failed. You’re labelled as a failure. Quitting takes different forms; quitting a sport you signed up for or quitting a marriage you’d taken vows to uphold. You are supposed to keep trying even if the odds are not in your favor.
Worse still, societal values internalize guilt, shame, and denial into the fiber of your being. Society strengthened your ego through magnifying certain values such as determination, resilience and commitments. But those values are irrelevant if your path has no heart and the path itself is about to destroy you. When your goals are not manifested in the real world, paying lip service to such values is futile.
Zooming in the business world of aspiring entrepreneurs tells us a meaningful story. It is the story of the difficulty of achieving and materializing the miracles in their lives. That miracle is the manifestation of their business goals in the real world. The conventional wisdom directs them into the ego world of commitment, work ethics and resilience, where the path of surrender is the path worth undertaken.
The beauty of surrender is that it’s not an action to be taken, but rather an understanding to be reached. Surrender is a total and complete giving up of what no longer serves you; be that a marriage that stagnates, a business that gets no traction for so long, or even a passion that gets you into frustration and boredom. Surrender is being mature enough to know when to cut losses and move on, when to withdraw from a losing battle in order to regroup and start anew. It’s a soulful decision to protect your mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Surrender is the gateway to your transformation and renewal. Surrender happens through the following three stages – one stage is built upon the other. The first stage is overcoming internal resistance. Part of you is attached to the unnecessary and refusing to let go. The root cause is fear. Elimination is about being efficient. It’s about doing things that are truly important.
Your internal resistance is the devilish force that keeps you from reaching the next step in your evolution. That invisible enemy often rises whenever we consider a tough, long-term course of action. Resistance stands between where you are right now and where you want to be. Beating resistance is not for the faint of heart. By understanding the wiles of this stealthy force, half of the battle is won.
Resistance is fueled by fear, as resistance has no strength of its own. Master your fears and the other half of the battle is yours. Your fear comes out of your mind. Your mind’s primary job is protection. Whenever you embark on anything new, resistance declares itself in the form of tension and anxiety. But underneath lies the root cause of resistance which is fear. If you want to go beyond this phase, you got to understand your fears, admit them then substitute them with the light of awareness.
The second phase is acceptance. Accept what is and don’t fight with it because what you resist, persists. If your business goals are not manifested as planned, don’t look externally before clearing up the mess inside. The mess inside can be unclear purpose, miscommunicated values, or unspecific goals. Being honest with yourself about what goes wrong is a crucial first step. Self-honesty helps you be clear on what can be changed and what can’t. Understanding and wisdom that were planted in the first phase help you accept what can not be changed and what can be.
Interestingly enough, acceptance is the doorway to surrender. By accepting what’s beyond your control, your focus and energy will be directed towards what can be changed. Acceptance breeds gratitude. When you are practicing gratitude, you not only stop denying, attaching or resisting what is, you uncover the blessings inherent in each and every situation. When you accept, you release your expectations of how things should be and be content to go with the flow of life and ask for help from a divine source: much more mightier and giver. In so doing, you will be a gracious receiver of divine gifts.
The third phase is letting go. Now, by transcending your fears and accepting what is, this lead you to give up the illusion that you are in control of your environment and your destiny. You come to the realization that what you must be in control of is your inner world, especially your ego. You got to starve your ego and feed your soul. While your ego self-promotes at the expense of delivering real value to others, your soul is asking you to be of service to others and answer God’s calling on you.
Giving up on what’s no longer serving you can be the best choice to keep moving forward. What we are is but the sum of the choices that we make and don’t make. If you have trouble deciding what to do, just focus firstly on what not to do and eliminate it. Next, prioritize what needs to be done according to your values – what matters to you the most – and your goals that must be aligned with your values. Subtract what needs to be eliminated then multiply the essentials.
When being overwhelmed by forces beyond your control, surrender is the best strategy. It’s a spiritual process that needs understanding and maturity to eliminate what burdens you and what helps you move ahead. The process is of three phases; the first is overcoming your internal resistance; second, accepting what is and being grateful for life lessons; third, is letting go of the nonessentials in order for the necessary to find a place in.