If we cling way too much to achieve our objectives, we may precisely not know when to stop. Stubbornness is sometimes worse than the status quo! Self-fulfillment and authenticity strike much of the balance between action and letting go. Here are ways to cultivate happiness with that balance!
If wisdom is to choose the right action to accomplish a goal, it also stems from the temperance and acceptance of reality. The values of our consumer society often command us to perform and achieve at “whatever the cost”. Yet, the best decision is often to accept events as they are. And this does not mean a lack of courage, because it often takes courage to accept reality.
For example, you do whatever it takes to make a journey to your heart. A few days before you fly, the travel agency tells you that weather events beyond its control have destroyed part of the hotel where you were going to stay. You will be refunded, but your trip is canceled. The situation is frustrating because now you need to mourn this trip you were supposed to cherish.
The wisdom of discernment
Only fools never change their opinion – or so the saying goes. Self-realization and letting go are two sides of one coin. The ability to achieve our goals depends on our motivation. However, the action involves the risk of failure. And failure generates fear and immobilizes us. Worse, when we fail, or make a mistake, we often become bitter against ourselves? It is good to accept our wrongdoing but it is also important to let go. When we strive to change one thing on which we have no power, we are literally wasting our energy and giving rise to a good dose of negative emotions. We do not accept what we dislike. This reaction is healthy so far as it helps us to correct the situation. But what happens when there is nothing we can change? We adopt a combative attitude, become emotionally demanding, and do not obtain valid results.
Cultivate temperance and balance
Epictetus, a Greek philosopher of antiquity said: “Do not try that what happens as you want but want what happens as it happens, and your days will be happy”. Closer to home, the famous prayer of serenity by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, emblematic of Alcoholics Anonymous, is instructive: cultivating serenity to accept things that we cannot change, courage to change things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. In other words, once we realize that we cannot change the situation, it is time to let go.
From the moment you accept events in your life, you stop fighting unnecessarily. And the positive consequences are endless – you decrease your anxiety, your bitterness and guilt. By quitting, you continually face situations that you cannot change, and you redirect your energy in the right place. You make your goals more enjoyable: you move at the same speed, but the path is much less painful.