Through the years of studying different approaches to life and searching for answers, I have come across two major concepts. Even though seemingly contradictory, both of them resonated with me to a huge extent.
The first one was a goal-oriented, active approach to life. Its believers claimed that nothing worthy comes easy in life and you have to struggle and fight for your dreams.
On the other side, however, there was a concept closer to the zen philosophy, which said that we should stop struggling and fighting the reality, instead of concentrating on the future – focus on the ‘now’, stay calm and relaxed and expect everything we need to simply come our way at the right time.
Although these approaches seem like the complete opposites, I came to the conclusion that it’s possible to connect them. If it was possible for one person to resonate with both of them, why wouldn’t it be possible to implement the former and the latter in one life? Here’s what I have come up with.
It’s definitely important to have clarity in what you want to achieve in life. People who write down their goals, have been proven to be much more successful and fulfilled than those who just thought of them or those who didn’t spend the time to figure out what they wanted at all. It’s a huge flaw of the so called ‘f**k it’ philosophy – being too relaxed and accepting puts us way too close to laziness. Not challenging ourselves by introducing new goals prevents us from growing and that is against human nature. It also leaves us directionless and like leafs on the wind, we end up having our time stolen by other people’s agenda.
However, there is something we can learn from that concept as well. Once we have our goals clarified and start working towards them, it’s good to recall the zen calmness and trust. While facing challenges, our mind should be focused and calm, knowing that we will indeed succeed in whatever we are doing. We should take this confidence and trust that we can have whatever we want into every step of the journey and every action we take. We should rest reassured that the universe is on our side and will give us whatever we need on our chosen path as long as we stay alert and aware of what we actually want. While working towards our future, let’s not forget about the present moment and learn to embrace the journey, balancing the work and the simple pleasures in our daily life.
For all the curious minds interested in going deeper into both approaches, here are some book recommendations 🙂
1. The action-taker approach:
- The Motivation Manifesto
- Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
- The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
2. The zen/f**k it approach: