Story of my surrender experiment
It was my 24th birthday. I was gutted to the core as I stared at the email I had received.
I had just been rejected from my dream course in liberal arts despite making it to the waitlist.
I had done everything- written down goals of making it to the fellowship, visualized the heck out of it, and did my best in the interview.
But, I failed.
I felt like tearing down the books on positive thinking and creative visualization on my shelf and questioning my beliefs in the so-called ‘law of attraction’! I had a strong urge to seek the graves of Napoleon Hill and Joseph Murphy and torment them personally! I was immature clearly! 😀
Now I had two options- feel like a failure forever or accept the situation for what it was and figure out things in a mature way.
In retrospect, I was going through a practical lesson in surrender orchestrated by the reality of life.
It was a lesson that gave me a glimpse into the integration of, seemingly contradicting philosophies- achieving anything you want with the right action vs living in the moment and letting life take a lead.
The first one is what the popular self-help movement propagates- setting big goals, visualizing them as if you already have them, and taking action. It usually involves the presumption that one has the power to change their reality and achieve anything one wants.
The other one is surrendering and going with the flow without worrying about the future. It usually involves the Buddhist concepts of mindfulness and living in the present moment.
I unconsciously adopted the 80/20 rule where I practiced surrender 80% of the time.
I did the next best thing life offered- enroll in a digital marketing program out of curiosity and did my best there. Eventually, I took up an entry-level job as a content marketer at an agency. It was a typical 10-7 job where you had to face uncomfortable stares if you entered at 10:02 am or left at 6:58 pm.
I surrendered to a daily routine of workout at 5 am in the morning, 8 am breakfast, 9 am commute, 10 am-7 pm grind, coming back home, dinner, and repeating the same schedule the next day. This was my 80% of the time in those days. I never complained.
But I also maintained a light intention toward the first idea 20% of the time.
I used to remind myself of my dream to get into that course 2-3 times a day. I used to visualize what it would be like to study at that institution. This was often during the office lunch breaks, morning walks, and just before going to bed at night.
Eventually, after 10 months of that ‘near monk mode’, I did make it to the course next year.
In retrospect, I think that had I gotten into the course on my first attempt, I’d have never learned marketing and developed an interest in it. I might have been equally confused after that course without any hard skillset.
Whatever happened at that time prepared me for the next stage of my life.
It has been exactly 7 years since that incident shaped my understanding of surrender, intentions, and the law of attraction. I still struggle with those concepts but I keep going back to the ‘near monk mode’ I followed in those 10 months of surrendered hard work with a light touch of strong intention.
I turn 31 tomorrow and I am asking similar questions once again:
- What is my next big dream that I can pursue religiously?
- How can I let go of that dream and replace it with a light intention?
- In what areas, do I need to do surrendered hard work without any expectations?
Have you had a similar experience with surrender and intentions in your life?
Hit reply and share your stories and thoughts on this!! 🙂
Until next time