You Don’t Need To Strive So Much

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.
– Richard Bach

You don’t need to strive so much. Simple as that. It’s ineffective, it causes you to suffer, and there is a much better way to be and to move in this world.

What is striving, then, I hear you ask.

It feels reliable, and trustworthy, for one thing. It’s very easy to fall into it. And it can take many, many forms:

  • It’s always working things out. It’s worrying, vexing, wondering.
    It’s mulling it over, and over, and over.
  •  It’s a form of control (and you like being in control – or at least
    thinking you’re in control).
  •  It’s fear in disguise.

You don’t need to do that, to be in control, to live fearfully.

And it comes from wanting to get from A to B, I get it, as quick as you can. (Or wanting to keep things as they are for as long as possible.)

Or striving could be created because you feel you need to do what you said you were going to do. (Otherwise you are not being you. Are you?)

Yes, striving is a manifestation of the belief that ‘there’ is better than ‘here’. (Or here is better than there.)

You don’t need to think that.

And striving comes from the believe that this is things get done in ‘the real world’; there is no other way.

You don’t need to believe that.

Striving is ‘should’-ing. Striving is responding to pressure???

You don’t need to do that.

And now for the contradictions, now for the paradox.

That’s not to say that striving isn’t useful, sometimes – to get things done, to want to achieve and stretch yourself, to keep moving. Of course it is, for you and me both.

Without plans, without thinking about, without reflection, life would become haphazard at best. Without rules and laws and guidelines there would be awful anarchy. Without fear we would be incomplete.

Striving is how the Western world came into magnificent being. Striving is a strength, not a weakness. Striving is how I became educated, you too.

Striving is a major source of stress.

Striving is out of control.

Striving is making you ill, uneasy.

Striving is a useful energy, to a point, yes. Then let go. And see what comes next.

~~~

So how do you stop doing what comes natural to keep doing?

Hmm, I love that question I really do.

First, be aware that there is another way for you to be with yourself and with life. (How can you pick option 2 if there has only ever been an option 1 for you? Notice that striving is not how you always get things done; notice that!)

Next, notice how often you keep doing what you usually keep doing – notice the striving. No judgement needed. No reprimands. Just notice. Like you might notice a baby keep falling down that’s trying to walk.

That really is all there is to it.

Notice when you’re striving, working out, and vexing over things. (It’s easy to notice, by the way, because this energy usually comes with an unpleasant feeling.)

And then notice when you’re allowing, trusting and being curious about things. (This energy, too, is easy to notice – it feels good, it feels natural, it feels simple. It feels baby-like, no?)

Notice for yourself the truth that you rely on your intellect too much – this striving energy – and your inspiration not enough. Notice this for yourself, feel the truth of it, and you’ll never have to read another book like this again. (You might want to, but you won’t have to.)

~~~

This not-so-carefully curated collection of quotes by esteemed intellectual and scientist, Albert Einstein, illustrates the loving message I’m trying to share here.

We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.
— Albert Einstein

and

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
— Albert Einstein

Striving is useful, when you can let go of striving when it’s no longer of any use. Trouble is striving mistakenly seems the only way to solve problems, to get things done. Which it, of course, isn’t.

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
— Albert Einstein

and

The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.
— Albert Einstein

Far better than striving, then, is allowing yourself to see life for what it is. An act of creation on your part, with rules and conditions and expectations all of which are the problem not the solution.

Intellectuals solve problems geniuses prevent them.
— Albert Einstein

And not wanting to demean the currency of genius, here – and I can’t! – but we all have access to genius, we really do – masked as inspirational insight, alchemical in nature, infinitely more transformative than habitual, recyled thinking.

You just need to put down your striving intellect awhile to notice it.

You don’t need to strive. So much. (Can you at least allow the possibility that this can be true for you?)

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Agree with what I’ve shared here? Disagree? Still got questions? Then please leave a comment. 🙂