Regardless if you consider Werner Erhard as one of the godfathers of transformation or not, he said some pretty compelling stuff. “Happiness is a function of accepting what is.”
The art of accepting things as they are and as they are not – this is at the heart of living a powerful and deliberate life.
So how does this work? What does this look like in practice?
Well, you’ll probably agree that it’s pretty easy to look out in the world and identify those who live powerfully from those who do not. Anyone who reacts instead of responds, complains incessantly, and insists that conditions be different in order to be happy are victims of circumstance. We’d probably agree that they’re not living life, but rather, life is living them.
So what’s the trick? How does one shift from being lived to living powerfully?
We do it by recognizing the difference between observing objective facts and acting out on our interpretation of the facts.
The truth is, everything we see and experience comes through our unique lens we’ve developed over the course of experiencing (and interpreting) life. The art of living powerfully starts with consciously observing and dealing with what-is before we go off into storytelling mode based on the lens we hold.
Why is this important? Because it is a defining trait of those who live powerfully and deliberately. Rather than react to life, the powerful and deliberate respond to facts and choose interpretations that serve their well-being.
Those that don’t get stuck in story and live in perpetual drama. For example:
She didn’t call you back.
He fails to help you move.
Stuff happens. All the time. It’s how we look at the stuff and what we make it mean that determines the quality of our life and how powerfully we choose it.
HOWEVER, observing what is and accepting it for what it is DOES NOT mean resignation.
Just because facts keep presenting themselves over and over doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to be ok with them. The trick here is to use the clarity of experiencing the objective what-is to interpret most effectively and then channel focus to what feels better and more constructive. We don’t have to make what-is wrong or bad, but we can use our experience to decide what is a better use of our attention and energy.
Separating facts from interpretation: a key trait that distinguishes those who live in joy more than negativity, respond instead of react, appreciate and celebrate rather than complain and condemn, and essentially choose a life they love. It’s a simple idea in service of living the best life possible.
Amy Eliza Wong is a life coach, writer, and speaker in the Sacramento, CA area committed to helping people figure out what makes them tick so they can finally live with joy and real purpose. Learn more about working with her.