I was recently listening to The Joe Rogan Experience podcast and he had on one of my favorite guests, Aubrey Marcus, who is also the CEO of one of my favorite companies, Onnit, and also has his own awesome podcast titled "Warrior Poet."
They're talking about everything and anything and somehow Aubrey tells his favorite Buddhist short story -
A man was walking through the jungle and is encountered by a lion. The man turns, runs and the lion is chasing. The man comes to a cliff, and begins to climb down to safety. As the the lion above stares at him, the man notices that another lion is waiting below. And what else? Two mice have begun to chew away at the vine the man is holding onto. Lion above, lion below, mice slowly taking away his options... but the man notices a strawberry vine growing near, so he reaches over, grabs a strawberry and enjoys the most excellent strawberry he's every tasted.
I heard that and thought about a few different things... I thought my "To Do," list, I thought of life stresses and anxieties... I thought of that awful list of SHOULD'VEs that really don't do us any favors... I thought about the goal lists, the bills, moments, the days, time...
The lion chasing and staring down represents the past.
The lion below represents the unknown future.
The mice... time.
So what can we do? Enjoy the strawberries.
Stress, anxiety, the future, the past, time... it's all around us. We want to do things, we want to see things, we want have certain things, we want to do for others, we want and want and want. We really do. We can say "I'm a simple person, I only need "x," but that's not entirely true. I can say that, i think I'm pretty simple, but I hate my car. I'd enjoy driving a better car. Right? So we all have items like that rolling around in our mind. Maybe its a vacation or a house or whatever, the point is, SOOOOOOOOO much isnt really in our control. Can we grab the wheel and steer the ship? Maybe slightly, probably a lot less than you'd like to think. But we really cant guarantee complete control over every single intangible, to completely land where we think we should be.
And that's ok.
I need to tell myself that often, in my day job, in training people, in coaching, in life.
Do everything you can, but know the outcome is not guaranteed.
So enjoy where you are, who you're with and what you're doing.