JKLTip Remember you are not your life, not your circumstances, not your good luck, not your bad luck
“Do not take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive”. This Elbert Hubbard quote has really stuck with me ever since I watched the movie Van Wilder. I find sometimes comedies can be underrated in their ability to remind us what life is really all about. Perhaps because they are light-hearted and silly, we need to really pay attention to find serious wisdom.
I love the genius in this quote. I think for a few reasons. For one, it’s just bloody obvious that none of us get out alive. Put another way, we are all dying.
From the moment we are born we begin to die. Some slow, some fast. While some look at this as stressful, it should be the opposite. Such truth should really help to take the pressure off. We should be able to laugh at ourselves and our situations. We have the capacity to enjoy our work and truly love what we do all day every day.
When we take things too seriously we are identifying too strongly with negative emotions. We take it personally when things don’t go “our way”. But do we really even know what “our way” is?
That’s the beauty in all of this. We can relax our minds if we relinquish control. It’s important we can look ourselves in the mirror and ask if we did our personal best. It’s important we have a north start to aim at, but then it’s as simple as letting go and seeing where life takes us
Things Are Happening For Us
Tony Robbins mentions a similar sentiment at times. He asks, “what if we took the approach that things are always happening for us?” No matter what you are working on, a passion, a dream, it is something we possess for a while, but it is not actually us. All we can do is try our best. All of the other stuff is irrelevant.
This brings us to the semantics of ownership. We need to realize that we are renting this life and our abilities for a while. When we develop our talents, improve our health, build skills, or level up our fitness, it will last a finite amount of time. It’s not forever.
“This too shall pass” applies to the bad things, but the good things too. Everything we engage in has an arc from beginning to end. Hopefully we stay on a high point for a long time, but we just may not. So whether it’s a nice new car, a promotion, or a loved one, be sure to appreciate them while they exist. Even if it’s your own ability to sing, play soccer, or be a model. I mean just think about how hand modelling worked out for Costanza.