Life seems harder when I take it seriously. So every once in a while, I have to remind myself to approach it lightheartedly. And have fun with it.
The sky is falling!
Remember Chicken Little? The little chicken who thought that the sky was falling when an acorn fell on her head? So she panicked and set out to tell the King? And on her way, she met other barnyard animals who believed her, and joined her on her quest?
Sometimes, I see a bit of Chicken Little in all of us. We worry that the sky will fall if we don’t do the right things. So we set about protecting ourselves. We educate ourselves, find good jobs, work hard, eat healthy foods, and exercise. And we sacrifice, suffer, and endure.
Our fears motivate us. And although they produce exceptional results, we seem to struggle as we accomplish.
Doing the same things differently.
Now imagine for a moment that we lived in a world where nothing could go wrong. Imagine that no matter what we did or didn’t do, everything would be alright. We would be successful, fulfilled, financially secure, healthy, loved, safe, and happy. If that were true, what would motivate us?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would probably do things because they were fun. Or to see what I could accomplish. Or because I was curious about an outcome. Or to experience something new.
I might not do different things, but I would do things differently. I would approach them with a sense of freedom, rather than a sense of burden. And I would be motivated by joy, rather than fear.
Ah, if only our world were like that!
The quality of our lives.
In a way, it is.
Because so much of what matters in our lives is beyond our control. We can plan and prepare. Then something happens that plunges us into darkness. Or, we see no light at the end of the tunnel, and are certain that the sky will fall. But it doesn’t. And a light brighter than our wildest dreams appears.
No matter what we do or don’t do, we can’t ensure our outcomes. And that gives us the freedom to stop worrying about them. It doesn’t mean we don’t try to achieve. Or that we abandon the activities we are engaged in.
It means that we have permission to have fun with them. We can approach our lives with more playfulness, joy, and curiosity. If things don’t work out, we can let them go, and try again. If they do, we can celebrate our victories. And get excited by the next thing!
Living like that may not change what happens in our lives, but it will change the quality of our lives.
Enjoying the ride.
And that is important. Because our lives are finite. One day, we will have to disembark. Our accomplishments, or lack thereof, won’t matter. At least not to us. And all that will remain is whether we enjoyed the ride.