When you put energy out there, what are your expectations on a return?
There was a time, whatever I did, I had a clear picture of what I thought I’d get in return. I worked at a job, started a business, created websites, went to school, whatever it was, with clear, specific expectations on exactly where the path was going to take me. I “knew” just how each action was going to impact my life and make it better.
Except for one, especially pesky little issue: I was almost always wrong.
Not just making wrong turns on the path, although I made plenty. Not just other people reacting outside my preconsidered set of expectations, although that happens plenty, too. You can’t guess, anticipate, plan, or visualize every detail of where life takes you. Many of the best trips are side trips–unexpected, serendipitous surprises. Synchronicity is the magic.
I learned you can’t plan what comes precisely. You can have goals; in fact, you need goals! They spur you forward and force you to clarify and focus. Very hard to get what you want without knowing what it is to begin with. But the piece that gets missed so much is mixing up actual goals with the path to the goals.
My goals used to be around accomplishing a specific result; I wanted this job or that bank balance or that car or this degree or whatever. When that happened, everything would be just right! Thing is, it wasn’t the accomplishment in and of itself I was really searching for. It was what the accomplishment meant to me. I thought working toward specific goals would give me security, satisfaction, freedom from worry, blah blah blah. I was actually longing for what I expected the goals to add to my life.
I have a friend who recently lost her job, and for a time, felt like her world was crashing. She confused having a long-term job with her actual goal of financial security. The financial security doesn’t come from any job, all of which are temporary–it comes from the experience, skills and talents you hold that allow you to meaningfully contribute; those abilities are what land you any job, allow you to care for your own needs independently, and allow you to progress and thrive. Exactly where those abilities gets exercised is far less important than having and exercising them. Making the transition from one expression to another expression of goals merely requires a little faith while you’re making your trek along the way.
The experiences I’ve benefited from the most notably, progressed my life the most significantly, have NOT been the times I’ve set a specific target and hit it. It’s been the side trips. The stuff that made me crazy–the times things blew up, went ridiculously wrong, or I ended up on a road completely unanticipated. These have been the gifts in ugly wrapping paper.
I still have to remind myself of the process sometimes. It doesn’t matter if I can imagine how I might get from A to B, because the path is totally and utterly irrelevant. Focus on the feeling you want–first amplifying your current experience of that feeling, which opens your life up to more of it; when you’re vibrating in tune with your goals, you metaphysically open yourself up to gifts, synchronicity, and whatever assistance is out there for you in the universal energy flow. By seeing where you are approaching your goals in your day-to-day journey now, you can build and grow until the result you wish is more purely and strongly expressed.
Now, when I see an opportunity, I put my energy out there and go Zen. I tell myself explicitly, “It doesn’t matter if things come together the way I expect. It doesn’t matter if I end up feeling stupid, or others don’t respond well to my efforts, or if I end up in an entirely different place than I expected setting out.” Whatever happens, I know I will have opportunities to learn. I work to divorce my ego from the process and trust. All that matters is that I put the energy out there in the direction I want to go, with faith and belief that I (or someone else) will benefit somehow from the energy, that my journey will be advanced, and that, somehow or another, it all adds to the light.