Work With What’s Wrong

When something goes wrong, it is not the result of fate working against you but the result of you not knowing it well enough to work with it.

Derek Lin, The Tao of Happiness: Stories from Chuang Tzu for Your Spiritual Journey


Blaming fate feels good…at first.

It holds no answers, though. All it does is prop open the door for an onrush of self-pity.

And there’s a better way.

“Fate” is a nebulous concept. “Working with what is” (or, in Byron Katie’s words, Loving What Is) is not.

What’s more productive: wasting years debating the definition of fate–or methodically optimizing yourself to flow with the current?

My advice, in a nutshell, is this: Ask not, “Why is this happening to me?” If you cannot resist, go ahead and ask–and be greeted by chirping crickets.

Instead, ask: “How do I work with this?

Trust that there is a way to roll with the punches–even when the punches feel more like nuclear blasts in the center of your soul.

Remember a time when, instead of succumbing to the siren call of lamentation, you sought to know your enemy–and, in doing so, realized that “enemy” is a relative term. Summon the feel of that occasion.

Can you feel the same way, again, now?

This is your internal GPS. Use it to find your way back.

Get to know your situation inside and out. Become an expert on it. Ask: “What have I yet to learn about it?Be curious! Something is affecting you, throwing you off your game. Aren’t you the least bit intrigued by it?

This sense of curious detachment will help you see your issue from a distance–making you realize that you are not it.

You are something else. Something…stronger.

Learn to work with it–and your strength will leave no room for self-doubt.

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