A song released in 1969 by the Isley Brothers started going through my head this morning. The main lyrics are “It’s your thing. Do what you want to do.” Something that I read in the Tao Te Ching made me think about it. The Tao suggests that we not “force” ourselves to do anything.
The harder one tries, the more resistance one will create for oneself.
Force begets force.
Maybe that’s the cause of so much frustration and anger in our lives. We force ourselves to do too many things. “But,” a voice in your head says, “there are things that must be done.” Really? Think about it.
Do you have to work? No. Look around you. There are lots of people who aren’t working and some of them are surviving just fine. Of course, they all don’t have the kind of car or clothes or home that you may have or want to have – but that’s their choice.
What if you can’t work because of a physical limitation? That’s not always truth. I could write a lengthy list of people who have chosen not to be limited by a physical problem. Steven Hawking is a prime example. He could have chosen to give up after becoming paralyzed from the neck down. Instead, he chose to utilize the amazing gift of his brain and has made a difference in the world.
“But I’m not Steven Hawking,” you say. That’s right. You have different gifts and talents and physical abilities. Choose to use them in the path that the universe leads you.
The more one acts in harmony with the universe (the Mother of the ten thousand things), the more one will achieve, with less effort.
Back to choice. Do you have to feed your children? No. You can let them starve. Of course, there is a price to pay for making that choice. You can see your children or your spouse as a burden to you. But that’s your choice. They have special talents and gifts that can and will make the world a better place. You can see those qualities or you can choose to pity yourself.
Every time I go to the refrigerator, I’m making a choice. Every time I turn on the television, I’m making a choice. Every time I do nothing, I’m making a choice. And there are consequences for every choice I make. Therefore, we are constantly creating our own lives.
Everything we do is a choice. Sometimes we forget that. It’s even your choice to believe what will bring you happiness in life. Too many wise people have told us that things won’t bring peace of mind or happiness.
Glorification of wealth, power and beauty beget crime, envy and shame.
Sit down and think about it. You’ve let yourself (chosen) believe that people who have money and power are happy. Really? Too much evidence contradicts that falsehood.
Meditate on it. Take the time to search your heart. Or don’t do it. That’s your choice. Search your motivations. Are they good motivations, or not? Will they lead to peace and harmony for everyone and not just for you?
Sometimes I think “I have to write this blog.” No. I don’t have to. Why am I doing it? The reasons are a complex mix of good reasons and selfish reasons. When my intentions are self-serving, I find that it becomes a burden. When my intention is an attempt to bring goodness into the world, I find more purpose and meaning in writing it.
Maturity (which I define as personal development) comes through meditation and contemplation. A fruit cannot develop to its full potential of goodness without inner growth and nourishment. The universe will bring the tree what it needs in order to produce good fruit. Choose to believe it or not to believe it.
What are you choosing to do and believe, and what have you been led to believe by others? Consider what would happen if you didn’t do those things. Realize you are actually choosing to do things for good reasons, and it’s the things you’ve been led to believe by others (who are acting based on their own unique ways of thinking) that are causing frustration and conflict with your own deepest desires.
Get in touch with your deepest desires to find peace in the depths of your heart. All it takes it a shift in the way you think and that requires focus. I would change the main lyric in the song to “It’s your choice. Do what you want to do.” Start with changing the way you think about what you are choosing to do today. Prioritize. And then start doing things because you realize that you want to do them, not because you think you have to do them. You’ll have a much better day.