The essential rule for staying in control

Teacher making a point.Want to stay in control of your life?
There is one essential skill to master: not panicking – no matter what happens.

Why is that essential?
As soon as you panic, you lose all objectivity and become subject to your fears, and there is no way you can make the correct decision once that happens.

When you don’t panic your response aligns with ‘Houston, we have a problem,’ instead of with ‘We’re screwed!”

Your choice.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

Teachable moments

Life is a series of moments.

Every one of those moments is a teachable moment.

Sometimes it feels like you are being asked to take the role of teacher.

At other times you know you are the student.

Eventually, you realise that no matter what role you think you are playing, you are always Life’s student.

photo-1423784346385-c1d4dac9893aIt’s easy to miss Life’s teachable moments, unless you are paying attention to what’s going on around and within you.

If you are always plugged into your device, playing games, reading FaceBook or Twitter feeds, listening to music or podcasts, or texting some absent friend; how aware are you of what’s going on around you? Can you even notice what’s going on inside you?

Yes, you can access to a lot of information through your smartphone or tablet while you are riding public transport or filling in all those empty spots in your calendar. If we’re honest though, most of it is noise.

Sometimes I wonder whether we are plugged into our devices because we are afraid of Life. We’re busy avoiding her teachable moments, because we fear she might ask us to confront something that will burst our cosy reality bubble.

We’re busy avoiding her teachable moments, because we fear she might ask us to confront something that will burst our cosy reality bubble.

It’s one thing to be concerned about the conflict in Ukraine. It’s something altogether different to deal with conflict in your immediate environment, and absolutely terrifying to have to deal with it within the relationship with your significant other.

Ukraine is not a teachable moment for most of us. The teachable moment is there where you are, and there in your relationship. The conflicts we see on the news are reflections of the conflicts in our lives that we are refusing to address.

Those moments of conflict in your life become teachable moments when you engage with the one in front of you and embrace the moment.

Those moments of conflict in your life become teachable moments when you engage with the one in front of you and embrace the moment.

If there is one thing I have learnt on this journey it’s that Life is a patient teacher – she keeps presenting you with teachable moments until you notice and engage with the lesson. So do yourself a favour and get your head out of cyberspace every now and then, and check in on what’s really going on in your life.

It’s much better to hear Life’s teaching prompts when they’re a whisper.

She’ll knock you for six if she has to shout to get your attention.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

Going with the flow

pinisi-boat

What does it mean to go with the flow? And, what flow exactly is it we are meant to be going with?

The flow is the flow of Life.

For most of us, it’s too scary to go with the flow of Life.

We try to hold on to what we have and either stay where we are or we fight to get to where we want to go. We resist the flow because we have no control of the flow. We have no control over where the flow will take us or of what the flow will bring to us.

Going with the flow is surrendering to something bigger than ourselves – it’s surrendering to Life.

We think we’re living our life. That’s why we want to exercise some control over the events of our lives. We make plans. We set goals, and we set off with the best of intentions.

Sometimes we make life difficult for ourselves by not letting go of things that have already happened. We fail to learn from our mistakes – hell, we don’t even admit to making any mistakes. We blame everybody and everything else.

You can’t go with the flow while you chain yourself to your past. She left you five years ago but you’re still yearning for her. He chose somebody else but you’re still waiting for him to notice you. If only you had or hadn’t said or done something, things would have turned out differently.

Things turned out the way they turned out. You can’t change that.

Acknowledge your part in it; forgive all your imagined hurts, and let the past go.

Bring your attention into the present. What’s happening in your life now, today, in this moment? That’s the flow for you right now.

The lesson to learn is that Life is living through you. Nothing happens to you. It all happens for you. But you won’t notice that while you’re busy resisting Life’s gifts.

The flow brings people into your life, and the flow takes people out of your life. Sometimes, Life removes Mary so she can introduce you to Helen. Sometimes, Life takes away your job so she can introduce you to your purpose.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself – what is it, that you think you can control.

  • Do you have any say in whether it will rain tomorrow or whether the sun will come up in the morning?
  • Do you have any say in whether your lover will be with you tonight, let alone tomorrow?
  • Do you have any say in whether you will wake up in the morning each night when you go to sleep?
  • Do you have any say in anything?

Life gets a lot easier when you realise that yes, you can make plans, you can set out with the best of intentions, but you have no say in whether you’ll get there or in deciding who you will meet or what will happen along the way.

Going with the flow is simply deciding to enjoy the trip anyway.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter