During the eighties and nineties the concept of designing a life was very popular and I was a great supporter of it. I imagine that may have been where the phrase ‘Make it happen’ began. As time passed and my life didn’t match the ideal life that I had designed for myself, I became increasingly aware that this concept is flawed, and our attempts to make it happen can sometimes make life harder than it needs to be.
A question I am sometimes asked is, “How can we set goals and be responsible, yet remain detached from the outcome?”
So let’s go back to the concept of designing a life. When we set a goal we usually have an expectation of how we will feel when we achieve that goal. We think that when someone loves me I will feel happy, or when I have financial security I’ll feel happy, and while it’s nice to have those things they don’t guarantee happiness.
The life I designed for myself was to be married, have four children and be the woman behind the man, who would own a successful business. I achieved some of my goals but I didn’t get married, I had three children, but as one died at a young age, the reality is I have two children. I became successful in my own right, which is way more fulfilling than my original plan and I became a best selling author. The reality of my life turned out different to what I imagined but I am a better person for the experiences I’ve gone through, and I now know that my original vision would not have fulfilled me.
What I discovered is that we have no control over goals that include other people, so while we can pray, visualise and support others to achieve their goals we cannot manipulate them to do what we want. We cannot force someone to love us, or even when they do, we cannot force them to live the life we believe is right for them, as the life they are living may be perfect for them to achieve their life purpose.
I believe we always take responsibility and do what we can to create the life that is important to us. That means that in some instances we prepare, gain the skills, save, do whatever is necessary. Then we get on with life and trust.
I liken detachment to gardening. When we plant a seedling it is small. We put it in soil that is full of nutrients and in a position that suits the need of the plant. We feed it, water it, maybe even talk to it, that’s the taking responsibility part. When we are not tending the plant we get on with our life and trust that the plant will grow. It’s the same with our dreams, we do what we need to do to turn them into reality, if they die as some seedlings do, we know there is something better for us. We trust that life is guiding us down a pathway that is more suited to us.
Forget trying to make it happen, set up the right conditions, do what you can then allow life to guide you to the life that will make you happiest. The Universe knows what you need, trust it!