In less than two months I will be going back to a place I thought I had left for good. When I left, I felt I really needed to leave because the pressure and the negativity had changed me, or at least I think it did.
A few weeks ago I was still hoping that I wouldn’t have to face the same situation and then it occurred to me: no, it is fine. I have been saying that I have changed and that this year has truly been an opportunity for personal growth and introspection, so why not demonstrate it? And so, instead of being worried and disappointed I decided to see this as a chance to commit to the changes I have started to make in my life. What better way to confirm who I am becoming than by being faced with the same situation?! It will be a test for sure, but thinking of it as a personal challenge, rather than a dead-end situation, already makes me feel more at ease.
Acceptance is the first step, as I wrote previously. In his artful book entitled “Oneness With All Life”, celebrated author Eckhart Tolle tells us that: “whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. Acceptance means: for now, this is what this situation, this moment requires me to do, and so I do it willingly.” To become aware and ultimately happy, Tolle writes that we have to choose between three states: acceptance, for the more arduous tasks in our life, enjoyment for the things we have and should be more attentive too, and enthusiasm for the everyday gift of life and beauty that surrounds us. Recognizing these situations and choosing how to respond and perceive them is the effort that will lead to happiness.
Enthusiasm in life, even in the most boring to the most arduous tasks, from going to the grocery store to working in a difficult environment, has the power to completely change the way we experience life. If we wake-up on Monday morning already dreading the work week ahead of us, of course it will seem much harder! On the other hand if we take the approach proposed by Tolle and we choose to simply accept what is, the day will go by much quicker. When everything is a chore, when you decide to be annoyed by your co-workers and bad drivers, you will only make yourself less happy.
And so, I make this promise to myself: I will go back to this place and I will face the same situation but I will choose to accept and maybe even enjoy it. I will grow and learn from myself and others rather then disengage. I will be enthusiastic because in the end I love the work that I do and I find it important. And finally, I will choose to focus my energy on the parts of my work that I enjoy most and brush aside the other things that don’t really matter in the end. It will be a challenge and I know it will not be easy but this is not a chore, this is an opportunity to grow and learn. Peace.