Cardiff | California
We exercise, we eat well, we get enough sleep.
We turn off all the music, we sit quietly and watch our breathing.
We send our kids to the best schools we can, read to them and help them with their homework.
What are we doing? Are we creating health, meditation or success?
No, those happen all on their own. What we are doing, is simply “setting the conditions” for them to take place.
If you have even been an insomniac or at least had a nights sleep that was less than restful, than you know exactly what I mean. We cannot create sleep. Sometimes no matter how much we try it simply won’t come.
All we can do is put ourselves in the best position possible for sleep to occur by setting the conditions that we know lead to sleep. We shower, we brush our teeth, we turn all the lights off and lock the doors. We turn off all the electronics and shut the bedroom door, get undressed and get under the covers.
It is this acknowledgement that some things are outside of our control that is actually liberating. Sure, we can affect the future, but only to a certain point, so what do we do? We set the conditions for the most optimal outcome.
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I actually derived learned this concept from my meditation teacher and I thought it was incredibly applicable to the normal everyday world of wakefulness as well. He would say to me something like “We don’t know what is going to happen every time we meditate. Every time will be different, but our job is to show up everyday and set the conditions for meditation to happen and let the chips fall where they may. When your done, get up and move forward. “
When I managed call centers, we would always have the reps make sure to focus on their activity, even if the sales weren’t coming yet, because we knew that if they were on the phone X amount of hours a day consistently, the results would show up in time (for most people). We had them set the most optimal conditions for success they could and then let the chips fall where they may, not everyone lasted, but we always tried to set the right conditions for them to.
Taking it a step further, this is your life. What are you trying to accomplish in your life. Are you truly setting the optimal conditions for that to happen? Are you networking with the optimal people and spending your spare time focused on the right things? Are the conditions right, or are you just hoping for lightning to strike.
I like this concept because it is both empowering and a bit esoteric in that you can control the outcome of your life here on earth, or at least the general direction and thrust, but in the end the exact specifics of what everything is going to look like is out of anyone’s hands.
Very few people have ever had a goal or vision and made it happen in the exact way they thought it would. Sure they may have gotten there, but I would wager that the way they got there was probably a lot more crooked than they envisioned in their mind, and such is life.
I think Jim Carrey said it best in his commencement speech when talking about life and success he said “ As far as I can tell, its about setting your sights on success and letting go of how it comes to pass”.
It’s easier said than done though right? Most of our pain in life is self-imposed and the majority stems from the same situation. Your life not being the way you envision it should be. The wider that gap the larger the pain.
The more we cling to how we think things should go, the more pain we experience, which in turn causes a ripple effect distracting us from setting the proper conditions for the future we really want.
The best day to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago. The second best day is today.
The future is merely the manifestation of what you are doing now, at this moment. This moment, right now is where you focus to change your future.
But now you know the cycle and you also know that maybe, just maybe, your role today is to simply show up, set the conditions, and let the chips fall where they may.
What do you think?
“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”