Why willpower is not the only way to achieve. - Alexander T. T.
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Less force, more ebb and flow.

— Why willpower is not the only way to achieve.

The human race has achieved remarkable things throughout our relatively short history. We envision, we build, we create. Most of that seems to be out the sheer will to do something meaningful. Willpower is a key aspect of progress, however it is also a way to force ourselves into a desired outcome. Whether applying ourselves in this manner is in our nature, or a cultural thing, is debatable. What myself and many others are finding is that it is an effective way to achieve things, but it is not the only way.

Must we always try to force our will upon life?

When we want something, we usually plan, set goals, work towards that thing and apply any means necessary to achieve it. In our head we really want this “thing” to happen and our plan creates the “way” that we think it should happen. We then work off of that plan to manifest it. However, I think you will agree, there are many ways a certain result can manifest. Usually it’s not the way we think it will.  Life will always throw off our plans, shift the perspective or make us give up entirely and despite this many people will endure to gain what they wish by “their way”. I am not suggesting giving up on what you want, or living a purposeless life. I am suggesting that we should consider a different approach. Less force, more ebb and flow.

So, how?

Lets look at an example first.

Say you want to be an artist, a musician perhaps. You need to learn an instrument, find a group, develop a style, play at shows (most of which will be empty), publish albums, play more shows and hope to gain some traction. Then maybe find an agent, keep growing, do concerts and become a success. That’s the mainstream way, right? It’s the life you want? Well if you truly wanted to be a musician, would it matter how it happened? Why do you want it to happen the “mainstream way” or “your way”?

You could start a YouTube channel. Maybe teach music instead, or make cover songs of existing pieces, or create music for use in ads and other productions? If you truly loved being a musician, would it matter if you never found success? Shouldn’t the music itself be enough? If not, then probably you are not in love with being a musician, but the result of someday being a successful one.

If being an artist is the point, why must it be music? Try a different creative path and maybe you will enjoy it more. Keep the goal in mind, but ebb and flow with the path life sets out for you. Just because one thing doesn’t work, doesn’t mean you should give up or try to force that result. Calmly find an alternate path and try that.

Life flows and so should you.

We’ve heard the metaphor “Life is like a river”. It winds around, flows one way and always gets where it needs to be. Now rivers contain water (duh) and I think a good way to think of when handling problems is to ask “How would water do it?”. That may seem silly, but hear me out. Water always gets where it wants go. It may wind, move, crash, seep, drip or whatever else it can, it will do. Even if you block it with obstacles, it may take a century, but some day water will erode it away and move in.

So why live your life like a blunt instrument (only force), when instead you can flow? Go around, below, drip in or just apply patience and you’ll get where you need to be.

Life is always throwing things, opportunities, choices at you. Take advantage of that and co-create with life. You will never have it exactly “your way”, but you can take life as an active participant and then create together with “it”. Give into the flow a bit, plan for the unplanned, let it show you the way.

 You don’t chase the cat, you offer it what it wants.

Life, destiny or whatever you want to call it is a bit like a cat. If you chase it too much, it will keep getting away from you. It will always be more agile than you. However, if you have what it wants, it will come to you.

And what the cat (life) wants is to manifest itself.  Create opportunities for life to manifest. Keep an open mind, create space for the unknown, let yourself be guided by the unexpected. Trust that you are where you need to be and that things are as they should. Manifest life, co-create with life, and maybe you will get what you want. You are life’s partner, not it’s boss.

Alex T. T.
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