I’ve learned of late that there are much in life that we cannot control. We spend a lot of time in our lives trying to do things, influence people, get people to like us and we try to be the all positive ‘proactive’, constantly taking initiative and trying our darnest to get sh*t done.
Sometimes you just have to let things happen. As a Recruiter, my job is to match people with the right job. This Client of mine wasn’t going to pay a the Candidate, the salary he wanted, so the deal was lost, or so I thought. Candidate rejected the offer, and the Client wasn’t keen to raise the salary offered.
The Client came back 2 weeks later, and gave the salary as to what the Candidate wanted, and I closed a deal.
The lesson here I learned was not to get so upset over the lost deal. It wasn’t meant to be, it never will be. It is of course so much easier to have it said. When you are in the hot seat, and everyone is expected you to act, and you didn’t or you did the wrong thing, that kind of mounting pressure can be immense. And so it takes a lot of confidence to let things happen.
I learned to let that deal go, have it lost. It turned around and came back. On hindsight, of course I could have done this and that, influence the candidate to take the initial offer, or even persuade the Client to up it, Either way, I would have come across as hard selling, manipulative and burn both ends and lose the trust and the deal eventually.
In Aikido, we are also faced with the same judgement call.
Sometimes, when our partner, poised for attack, can be unnerving. You would like to take initiative and strike first, but sometime first strike would be disadvantageous, and you might be caught in a situation you could have avoided by not doing anything, or allowing your attacker to strike first.
Of late, I allow myself to open and face my partner, and let the attack comes, knowing that I have whatever I have in me to deal with it.
Allowing the attacker to come, you allow the energy to get played out, and fully expends. That is where you can use your energy and control the situation when your opponent is at its weakest.
Dealing with anger
It is easy to tell a pissed off person, ‘Don’t get angry lah!’ Easier said than done! An angry person would tell you!
Sometimes, let the person simmer and get over with the anger, let it all out, and when the anger has dissipated, then the mind is in a more calm and open mood to receive logic and reasoning.
Dealing with matters that way looks quite retrospective, and lacks a lot of drive. You basically sit back and somehow let things happen.
It is not what it is.
Letting things happen, when you can do something, is learned helplessness. When you can do something, do it, but when you have reached a stage where you can no longer do anything; allow yourself to sit back, and have a bit of faith. The world works in a very curveball way you seldom sees beyond your horizon so don’t worry so much when things don’t go your way, after all that you have done. Just do what you can and let things happen.
My friend Steven, came to this epiphany a long time back, he allowed life to happen. This is only apparent when things don;t go your way, despite of all that you have done, what else is there to do next? Sit back and allow things to play out. It will.
It’s chess, my dear children…
Chess is a back and forth game, played between 2 players, right now if there is you, the other side is life, we can only make one move at a time, that’s all. After we made our move, it is the other side’s to make the move, and beyond that we can think and visualise our strategy, but not forgetting our opponents can pull a surprise. And when we have planned enough, and we are rich with experience, we can deal with surprises. But we still need to sit back, after we have made our move and let the other side play out, then we come back into the game and make our next move, then let it play out again.
We cannot stop our opponent from moving, life will move on, and to disallow, we are only stopping ourselves, making lives miserable for us. When we do not let things play out, the situation gets pent up.
In Aikido, if you stop an attack, you allow that energy to return to the attacker, and that energy, stored can be reused against you. Once the energy is initiated, let it travel the entire way and just be at the end to meet and change the course in your favour. That is allowing the play to happen, and in doing so, you will be able to turn things to your advantage.
Learn that and you will not have to grief much in life!