“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards;
as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”
— Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)
Sometimes the best way to restore your power is to give up. It’s one of the little ironies of life.
I have to admit, that’s been my week. Giving up felt a little sad at first, and then, gradually, it felt like a relief.
Trying too hard doesn’t get you better results. It gets you frustrated and exhausted. You’re pushing, pushing, pushing – focused on what you don’t have. Pushing against, rejecting, what is.
One of the lessons of the physical and energetic experience of Kai Chi Do is this: No force, No resistance.
When you push – no matter how well-intentioned you are, no matter how right you are – you evoke resistance. Push people, they dig in. Push life, get pushed back. Push harder, get clobbered.
The alternative is to yield. Step out of the struggle. It doesn’t mean you agree with something you think is wrong. It just means you unhook your emotional attachment. And find your own balance.
Giving up means accepting where you are, and doing what’s within reach – doing what you are able to do – taking the next logical step.
When you stop holding your breath, you get inspired.