Surrender. According to the dictionary of Cambridge, it means “to stop fighting and admit defeat; If you surrender to an experience or emotion, you stop trying to prevent or control it.”
You know how it works. You have a plan. You set up a deadline to achieve it. You cut into milestones and get obsessed every minute of your life over that goal.
Also, this seems to be the right thing to do, after all, that’s what all the successful people do. Wake up, spend your day and go to bed thinking about it. Not only thinking but also worrying about it.
You should also be completely passionate about what you do. Again, be completely obsessed about it and there will be no sadness anymore. But no one, no single person can be happy 24/7. Even if you’re completely crazy about what you do, there will be some stuff that will not please you.
And boy, there will be tons of things you won’t like it. There will be mistakes, harsh feedbacks, wrong moves and those are things will make you stronger. Life is not a bed of roses and shit happens all the time. And that’s the reason you should celebrate when shit happens…
Dealing with failure
My obsession with success led me to the opposite of it. And no wonder why all of us think the same.
We learn from day 1 that to be successful you need to work hard. Work your ass off and that’s the way to go, right?
But have you heard that hard work is the enemy of growth?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t take massive action towards your goal. It’s not that. But instead, you should work smarter, not harder. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but stay with me and we will look deeper into that.
What do you think will happen if you don’t work hard? You will fail, right?
Now, let me tell you something. There is no such thing as failure.
Wtf you’re talking about, girl? Well, I repeat. There is no such thing as failure. What is a failure? One of the definitions of failure, according to the dictionary is: “The fact of something not working as it should”.
Ok, let’s digest that.
What does it mean things not working as it should? You have a goal. Let’s say, you had a goal of saving money for your next holidays until day X. The deadline comes and goes. You saved only $300 instead of $1,000. So, you start to feel like a failure. “Because I’m not able to save money” “I spent so much with parties” “Why my friends are going on holidays this time and I am not?”
You blame things, people and go really hard on yourself because you didn’t achieve your goal. Coming back to the phrase above, failure does not exist. You wished you have saved $1,000 instead of $300. If you have achieved it, things would go the way you wanted them to go. So, since it didn’t go the way you wanted to, you think you failed, right?
This is an interpretation you made up for yourself. Who is saying you failed besides the little voice in your head?
In the real world, there are only two things: Things going the way you wanted or not. Just like the definition of failure.
So, your goal of saving money is no different. The deadline comes and goes and here is what happened: you either got the result you wanted or you got the lesson you needed. PERIOD.
The result you WANTED or the lesson you NEEDED.
What does surrender have to do with failure?
When you surrender to the lesson you need to learn, everything becomes easier. Because that’s where the growth lies.
In the example above, you could interpret as something like: “Why didn’t I achieve my goal? What could I have done differently to achieve it, instead? Could I have drunk less booze and stayed home a few weekends in order to save more?”
Maybe you need to learn to be more organized with your finances. Maybe you need to party less. Whatever it is, LEARN your lesson and MOVE ON.
Surrender to what is
“In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty. In the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the unknown, which is the prison of past conditioning.
And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind […].”
A quote from the book The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra which opens the chapter Law of Detachment.
It sounds counter-intuitive but stepping into the unknown will set you free. The habit of controlling things, predict what’s coming next and stay in a safe and known zone is counter-productive. Simply because it reinforces in your brain the same values you already have.
If you don’t dare to explore new things, you will continuously run a program that keeps you stuck. And to move forward, you have to break the chain.
Once you stop trying to control whatever is, stop making predictable moves and go beyond things you’re used to, it’s where the magic happens.
Once you detach yourself from perspectives, expectations, results, you open the door for new things. And those new things will take you to the flow of nature. Flow of life. Flow of the Universe. Flow of all possibilities!
“Surrender is like a fish finding the current and going with it.”