For the first time in many years I am starting out the year with no goals….and it feels amazing.
I used to be a big believer in goals and I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m starting to believe goals may actually hurt us sometimes.
I know the “experts” say if you don’t have goals you will wander aimlessly and achieve less than those who have goals.
But what if you set the wrong goals?! Won’t that lead you down the wrong path?
Use the Right Tool
I’m still not sure goals are completely useless. They can help set the direction of our life.
But if we set the wrong goals, they can take us off path from the life we are meant to live which ultimately leads us to being unhappy.
The problem is the tool we use to set our goals.
Instead of using our heads we should be using our gut.
Go With The Gut
I believe we all have an internal compass, something inside each of us that knows all the right choices.
I call it my gut because I actually feel it in my stomach. When I have to make a decision about something, it either feels right or it doesn’t. It’s kind of a spiritual guide that also gives us physical cues.
Some times it’s stronger and more obvious than others, but it’s always there and from my experience, it’s always right.
But going with the gut is much easier said than done.
In the past I’ve done a pretty good job listening to my gut although it can be very difficult especially when it comes to decisions that could affect me financially.
That’s been the hardest part to overcome. It seems so irresponsible to make financial decisions based on a gut feeling.
But the key with trusting our gut is to learn to let go of outcomes.
Several months ago I was on the verge of getting fired.
I am in sales and the funny thing about sales is that it’s very black and white. If you don’t sell enough you get fired.
Even though I had worked very hard all year, I had a string of months where I didn’t sell much at all.
I was sure that in a couple of months I’d be gone but I had to make sure though so I met with my boss and we had a very candid conversation.
And guess what? It was true. I was on borrowed time unless I could make a dramatic improvement with the next 2 months.
So I reviewed every possible account I was working on and there seemed to be no way in hell that I could hit the numbers I needed to hit in order to keep my job.
The logical side of me was screaming at me to find another job. But it just didn’t feel right.
There is really no other way to explain it, I just knew inside me it wasn’t the right decision.
But the most frightening thing was that I didn’t know what the right decision was!
I had no idea what the hell I was supposed to do.
Finally after a lot of stress and trying to figure things out, I decided to just let go….stop trying to figure things out, stop worrying about outcomes.
Faith and Flow
It’s insanely hard to just let go of outcomes, especially when your livelihood depends on it.
And I am definitely not an expert, but I can tell you when I finally came to peace with whatever the outcome might be, as soon as I truly let go, all of the sudden things started to happen.
I heard from a customer who had been dragging on for almost a full year without making a decision. He called and said “Tim, we are ready to go, can you send me the contract?”
Then I had the urge to reach out to another customer I hadn’t spoken to in months and was sure they wouldn’t do anything. And what do you know, I caught them at the right time and they wanted to buy my service also.
Stuff like this just started happening.
And then there were several times while I was meditating that I thought of people I hadn’t spoken to in years.
I felt like I should reach out to them to see if I could help them with their businesses.
I had absolutely no idea whatsoever if they had any need for my help so I didn’t do anything at frst. But they kept popping into my head randomly and I felt compelled to call them.
So that’s what I did. And guess what?
One of them said “Wow that is so weird! I was just thinking of how I need to find someone I trust with skills in that area and here you are!”
The other said “Tim that is so weird. I was just thinking about you and how we could use your help. Your timing couldn’t be more perfect”.
There is no way this stuff happened just by coincidence. This is the way things were meant to be, as confusing as it all was.
This is called being “in the flow” and I’ve continued to experience this over and over again.
Don’t get me wrong, I still feel fear and sometimes I worry a lot, but I remind myself to let go.
And every time, life comes through and it all works out.
Life Will Take Care of You
This takes practice, it’s challenging to have complete faith that things will work out, especially when it comes to situations that could affect me financially like I said.
I don’t know how things will unfold with my career.
It’s looking like I will probably get fired. I could jump ship right now to the safety of another job, but that doesn’t feel right.
In the past I would have panicked and found another job. But I can tell you so far from everything I’ve experienced, I know everything will work out and things will be even more amazing if I just trust in letting things unfold the way they are supposed to.
Life will give us the answers but we have to be open to receive them.
When we get too focused on the future, on making things happen or worrying about what could happen, our creativity and ability to think clearly is cut off. The source of our power is blocked.
We have to relax and let things happen.
The ideas will come.
The right people and events will show up.
Life will take care of you.
It’s sometimes scary and confusing, but there is a plan and it will all work out.
As Bob Marley says “Everything’s gonna be alright”.
This is very much about finding balance.
I’m not a surfer (scared to death of sharks) but I equate this process to surfing in the sense that life is like the ocean. You have no control over it and it is very powerful.
But you have a choice, you can ride the waves and have a blast. Or you can fight them and the result is not going to be fun.
I know that might sound kind of cheesy but it’s the best way I can describe it.
I still worry about the future, I still worry about making quota and I’m still scared at times because I have a family to support and it seems really risky to live without a plan of how I will support them if I lose my job.
But this experience of letting go has been so powerful that I can’t ignore it. It’s real and it’s incredible.
I’ve been given signs that it’s ok to trust in it. So I’m trusting.
Let’s Help Each Other
This kind of post is hard for me to write. It doesn’t sound manly to talk about things like “letting go” and I’ve been scared to let the world into this very personal part of my life.
I mean let’s be honest, to most people this letting go stuff probably sounds great in theory but insanely stupid as a way to live life.
But it’s been really incredible how things have unfolded since I began to embrace it.
At times when I started to panic and worry that this is a bad idea, people have shown up in my life out of nowhere to support me. People I have never met before. Amazing people.
And then recently a few old friends have shown up and have expressed similar feelings about letting go and seem like they could use a bit of encouragement.
So I know this post is kind of off topic for this site but my gut is telling me to get this message out there…it needs to be heard.
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m letting go and going with my gut.
My goal is to use myself and my life as an example to hopefully give other people the courage to do what they feel is right, despite what other people may think of what the most rational choice might be.
I think this is the beginning to an even more incredible ride and I plan to share as much of it as possible on the site.
Can You Help?
I know most of us “dudes” are embarrassed sometimes to admit our struggles and to talk about stuff like this but I think it’s important we get over that crap and help each other out.
I think a lot of people need to hear this message, especially parents. The pressure of having to support our families and doing what feels right can put us in a position where we constantly make decisions that seem like the most responsible thing to do, but may actually cause us more stress and frustration in the long run.
So if you know anyone who might need to hear this message, please do them a favor and send them to this post or share it on Facebook, Twitter etc.
Last thing, if you have any thoughts or questions about this topic, please feel free to contact me through the contact page. I’d love to hear what other people think about this approach and any experiences you have had letting go and going with your gut.