June 25, 2014

Let go

This morning, mid-hustle, I noticed that there was something in my inbox from Seth Godin. His daily musings are often entertaining, and today had a critical point:

For some, crises are existential. The subsistence farmer, the parent without access to medical care, the person living in a makeshift shelter–this crisis might be the last one they ever encounter. Deal with this crisis or cease to exist.

As a result, crisis management became a cultural emergency, something we all focused on. High alert, drop everything, this is do or die, because if we don’t get through this, it’s over.

Now, of course, for those lucky enough to live in a well-off part of the world, insulated from disaster, few crises are actually this black and white—they merely feel that way.

The project might be in jeopardy, but you’re not.


Being aware of how lucky I am to have created my own world is one of the critical success factors to my own happiness. This isn’t something that just happens by chance. It’s something I am continuously aware of. The fact that I have a roof over my head, shoes on my feet and food in my belly are privileges I work hard for. The fact that I choose to run outside in the mountains is a privilege.

I live a tiny life in a world full of people who have nothing. To them, my life is unfathomable. To drive a car, sleep in a warm bed and eat the kinds of foods I do is the privilege. To be as fussy as I am about where my meat comes from, what flavours are in my coffee and that I only like to drink wine from farms who practise ‘minimum interference’ is, in a word, ridiculous, to them.

So let’s take a step back and I have to admit, that thinking about that all day, would be existentially limiting. This is my life. I have created it. I won’t give it back. I have my own set of ‘problems’, as ridiculous as they may seem to others.

I am in flux, between a bachelor and a fully fledged family. I am newly married and planning the next 30 years, while trying to be in the moment and just enjoy being married.

I am studying up on financial planning, family planning and how to best grow my business interests so that I can get through the next 20-25 years and think about retiring with the same sort of financial freedom I have now.

I am thinking about schools, holidays, compound interest and home loans. These things are exciting and exhausting for a silo like me. I want to remain fit and healthy with toddlers, showing them the world I love so much rather than being a tired, worn out ex athlete father. I can’t become the statistic.

So this morning, during my morning workout, I realised that I have to let go. That I can guide these things with great decisions, but cannot control them.

It was a liberating moment and today, I have been going through the motions with more flow, more ease and more direction. It’s a revolution.

So often I hear how hard things are for people – especially when it comes to achieving athletic goals.

“It’s too hard”.

I call bullshit. Pain is the gift nobody wants and the secret to success. When you make it malleable, you spread it out over a big period of time and it’s manageable. Learn to guide, to flow, to move with the natural energies around you. Yes, it will be hard. Almost everything worth having is hard at some point.

“worth it”

The best example I can give you is this piece of writing. Just a short while ago I wasn’t writing at all. I was missing the queues in my daily routine to take 10minutes to write something here, because it might be important to someone else, to myself, and to the world.

Now, I am letting the moments find me, and recently, my blogging activity has rocketed again.

All this, because somewhere, I let go of trying control everything and rather, tried to find the natural flow in this amazing world I have created for myself.

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