We sometimes suffer when reality does not turn out the way we want it to be.
As a result, we want to change reality or move to a different one if possible. A lot of times we only get what we have and because we want a different one we become really unhappy.
We have a future that we imagine happening but the reality is different (and often) the opposite of things that we want to be.
In a lot of cases we end up getting what we aim for. We just don’t get it the exact same way that we wanted it to be.
When I was younger and didn’t have people skills, I read and studied about talking to people and I eventually got good at it. The reality was I made a lot of really embarrassing mistakes learning how to.
Five years ago or so, I set a goal list to get a bunch of gadgets and some experiences like being a minimalist, a traveler, a blogger, an author, and a whole bunch of things. It took me a couple of years longer but what’s interesting is that I was able to achieve the goals I set. It took longer and it took a different method for me to achieve than originally planned but I got it. The reality was that my plan failed. Almost all my plans failed. I gave up, and some time later I received an opportunity, grabbed it, got something and realized that what I got was what I set before.
What’s the point here? If you learn to be content with what you have, you enjoy your life more because your vision does not clash with reality. There is less emotional issues with things you are working on and the work gets done.
When minimal changes had a bunch of drama posts a couple of years ago, I was depressed because of a failed relationship that I couldn’t let go of. I tried everything to change that. I wrote a book, built a wedding photobook, became a pick up artist, started a charity, learned to cook, lost weight, tried to take care of my body better and I still ended up depressed. I would go out on a date with someone totally awesome and while I’m with that person drown myself with the illusion that I can get the past back. I was rarely present, whether in a hang out, or a date or wherever I was.
I tried to take care of myself better and stumbled upon the serotonin study which led me to drink probiotics everyday. Since then negative thoughts leave my head after five seconds. Most of them were self inflicted.
My values were somehow bring me back to remind me of what I want to let go of.
- I never give up on someone.
- I will end up forgiving the people I love.
- If Naruto can turn Zabuza, Neji, Gaara, Tsunade and Nagato into allies/friends then so can I. (Naruto is a Japanese comicbook series about never giving up and friendship told through ninjas with awesome powers.)
After a hang out didn’t push through, I got to hang out with a new friend. We went to CJ, my other close friend who was moving to Canada. It was out last hangout together and I ended up buying an iPhone (interestingly the specific model I wanted a few years ago).
CJ taught us something that day which is the main point of this post.
Not being together with someone doesn’t mean that you stopped loving them. Its okay to still love something you won’t have but accept the reality that you won’t have that (again).
I thought about it for a few days and realized that it was true.
I loved martial arts, Star Wars, a bunch of games and other hobbies which I no longer practiced because my priorities have changed. I have a bunch of friends that were really close to me but I don’t see them anymore but if they ever needed any help, I’d be there in a heartbeat.
Other than the fact that letting go and moving on doesn’t mean the end of the world I thought about what I can do to get better at it.
If there were steps to applying this to real life here’s what I think they would be:
- Accept that you love something a lot.
- Accept that that for specific reasons you will no longer be spending time with it (or a lot of time with it.)
- Accept that you won’t be not because you are abandoning it but for reasons you can’t control.
- Accept that it’s totally fine. You are not defeated by the challenge or reality. It’s just so.
- Find something awesome to appreciate or work on.
I’ve used it to move on and let go of a few things and has worked so far. I want to name it “Illusion cancel technique” or “Mind control release technique” but that’s just so geeky. Anyways let me know how things work for you.
I’ll be back to regular blogging. Check out my other blogs too.
Whenever people say “Let it go” it’s too simple but hard to execute so here are some additional learnings that might support you with letting go.
- We have no control of reality. We only influence a small part of it. We can’t control other people’s thoughts just the same as we can’t control the weather so we just learn to live with it and move on with life.
- 90% of what we get in life are blessings and 10% are learning experiences.
- Whenever we don’t get what we want, God has something at least 10 times more awesome waiting for us instead.
Here’s a status I recently posted:
If you don't get what you want, don't ever think God will give you something you won't like. Over time, I realized that each blessing from God is ten times more awesome than whatever wish that I didn't get.