Working hard for something you desire is both good and rewarding. Too much success on this path, however, can lead to an exaggerated sense of control. It's a cause and effect thing where hard work always leads to success. This is not the whole truth. There is a deeper magic where you can allow the Universe to gift you success in response to slowing down, becoming quiet, and listening to the voice of Wisdom.
Dreams, goals, and circles of control are all good things. It’s great to work hard towards a specific goal and then to achieve it, and even better to enjoy what we achieve! This is good. It’s rather magical when our wishes come true through our own efforts – we deserve it. I call this “Wishdom” – the pursuit of our dreams regardless of the wisdom of them.
“Be careful what you wish for.”
It is also potentially deceptive. Too much success using this system can deceive us into thinking we can control more than we can. We can even believe that we can achieve anything we want to. “All things are possible for those who plan and prepare properly!” This is not the truth. And along this path disappointment awaits in ambush because it doesn’t always work. We can even come to believe that because we have worked hard, we deserve our desired result. The concept of ‘worthiness’ can too easily become a curse.
It is good to learn how to set goals and build processes that will help us repeat patterns of success, however, I think this is, at most, only half of the picture.
Have you ever heard anyone say, “I’m too busy”? Do you remember when your children or children you knew were rushing about so much, they couldn’t hear you? Too often, too many of us are too busy to listen. We use force to achieve what we desire and believe we are driven to achieve.
For as much as 50% of the time this is good. It takes force to develop muscle strength. It takes effort to move things and to lift our performance to the level of excellence… It takes practice! Birds, too, expend effort to capture their food. My favourite example is the seagulls around here who have learned to paddle the grass to replicate what the worms think are rain. The worms arise and meet their demise! The seagulls invest effort and are rewarded.
Focus + Force = Results (but not always the results we expected or desired.)
I have also seen force fail. I remember watching children, learning to crawl, who would crawl in reverse. When they got stuck, they would simply apply more force – ineffectively. No amount of extra force – working harder – would produce what they wished for. Their wishdom failed when wisdom would have prevailed. They needed an alternative strategy.
I celebrate the fact that most of us have worked hard to achieve. This is good. I would now like to offer an additional way to ‘achieve’. To pause, to cease to be ‘busy’, to look and to listen to hear the wisdom.
Back to the birds. Birds work hard… really hard. They are really focused. But they also experience the joy of discovery and they learn to sing. Every day, the fact that they pause, look, and listen leads them to surprising sources of new food. Who knows what benevolent gardener will decide overnight to commit to feeding the birds? The day before, only a bare garden… next day, a feast day. Thus, the pause, the listening, the looking leads to discovery. This is undeserved. This is not worked hard for. This is allowed.
Where did the energy come from with the example of the Benevolent Gardener? Not with the birds! They could only allow the opportunity to emerge. They did not work for this, they only allowed themselves the pause and awareness to discover it.
The birds learn to find the flow where the energy goes.
If you are working hard at the moment and getting nowhere, it may be that you are like the toddler crawling in reverse who has got themselves stuck. No amount of extra effort, extra hours, extra staff, or extra money is going to get you a good result. Press Pause!
Wisdom is always whispering.
Step into Wisdom’s flow and allow success. This will give you more faith in yourself and in Benevolence in the Universe… a Universe waiting to support your true direction.
I close with one of my favourite quotations.
Haven’t you known?
Haven’t you heard?
The everlasting God, Yahweh,
the Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn’t faint.
He isn’t weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak.
He increases the strength of him who has no might.
Even the youths faint and get weary,
and the young men utterly fall;
but those who wait for Yahweh will renew their strength.
They will mount up with wings like eagles.
They will run, and not be weary.
They will walk, and not faint.
From Isaiah chapter 40