It sounds so sweet.It sounds like something we ‘ought’ to do all of the time. Or at the least a lot of the time.
But is that really useful? Does being a really great carer lead to peace, joy, fulfillment, and a meaningful life experience?
Caring, like a lot of things, is great when it is done for the right situations, to the right amount, at the right time.
It has been my experience coaching 100’s of people over the last 12 years that people are a little bit crap at establishing when are the right times to care A LOT and when are the right times to give less of a damn.
So the lesson for today is about re-calibrating your caring muscles to bring you more ease, joy, and success.
Are you ready?
First let’s look to the monks
I love the term ‘the middle way’.
But I love even more, the integration of the term ‘behavioural flexibility’.
What this means to me is that we hang out most of the time in the ‘middle’. In the neutral zone. In the present moment. In the land of being.
Then there are times we oscillate to either end of a figurative spectrum. In the case of caring the spectrum might look something like this:
– One end: caring WAY TOO much.
– The other end: not giving a hoot about anything.
– The middle: just being content in the present moment.
Point Number 1: Be flexible. Choose the right level of caring for the right situation. A sledgehammer is not the right tool for every job.
What do we actually, really, control?
Knowing the difference between the things you can CONTROL and the things you can only INFLUENCE is essential to doing the dance on the caring spectrum.
Most people are pretty crap at knowing what they ‘actually’ have control over. It is pretty much about 2.4537% of everything outside of ourselves (and perhaps less). We mostly ‘control’ bugger all. But we go through life thinking we control a whole lot more. When we wise up to this, it creates a great opportunity.
What we can control internally is a whole lot more (definitely more than 2.4537%!! ;-)). We can control the meaning we give to the events in our life. We can control (most of the time) if the words ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘I don’t know’ come out of our mouth. We can control what time we set the alarm to get out of bed. We can control what we focus on (though it is not necessarily easy, we can control this).
Simply put, we influence a lot more than we can control.
And how this fits into this conversation is this:
PRACTICE THE ART OF CARING A LOT LESS ABOUT THE THINGS YOU CANNOT CONTROL.
Recognize what you do not have control over. Get real with yourself. Acknowledge you can only control so much. Do your best. Influence as much as you can. But be very wary of attaching your care factor to things, which are obviously beyond your control.
The UPSIDE of being a little more care-free
Have you ever had the experience where you went for a job interview and because you did not care if you got the job or not, you did your best interview ever and ended up with the job. I have. It went something like this…
Before I resigned from the Australian Defence Force in 2001, I took a 10 month around-the-world trip to use up all my owed leave (it was awesome!!), and followed summer through the America’s, Europe and Asia. At the end of the adventure I returned to Sydney and started thinking about work after the army. Fortunately an ex-army buddy of mine connected me with the executives of the company he worked for, and recommended me for employment.
The HR department asked for me to come in for an interview, but I made up some lame excuse as to why I could not come in and perhaps we could have an initial interview over the phone. The truth was I did not think they would appreciate me showing up to the interview in my summer wear of shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops. I stalled for time so I could go and buy a suit. And I got to do the phone interview in my board shorts.
By the time I went in for the suited up interview, I was also of the mind that this was my first interview after leaving the army and I didn’t really care if I got the job. This meant I was super chilled in the interview and gave them the impression I was cool, calm and competent.
The truth was that I was so chilled out because I didn’t really care if I got the job or not. And because I was so chilled out, I blitzed the interview and got offered the job. Go figure.
What if, sometimes us caring a little less, and being a little more care-free actually lead us to achieving the goals and desires we have in life.
It brings us back to the idea that caring too much might get in the way of the magic of life moving through us.
A random list of things it might not be that healthy to care too much about
This is merely as an exercise to wake you up to OVER CARING you might be doing that is impeding your ability to shine brightly and ease your way through life.
Caring TOO MUCH about…
- whether everyone likes you (news flash: not everyone does).
- whether it takes 6-months or 18-months to achieve a goal (does it REALLY matter?).
- the weather (sorry you have zero say in this).
- whether people in Bali will obey the road rules (I have zero control and there is a very good chance that a lot of people have never read them).
- what your life will be like in 5 years (who knows what will or won’t happen in 5 years).
- whether your favourite sports team wins or loses (unless you are the coach your influence is zero).
- if your car will get scratched when you park it at the shopping mall (it will or it won’t but it is just a car).
Now this is a very random list with the intention of just reminding you to care a little less about things that don’t really matter and which you have no control over or limited influence.
A (life-changing) challenge if you choose to accept it
Set the intention, just for today to care a LOT less about pretty much EVERYTHING and just see what happens.
Today’s meeting…care less.
Your outfit for the day…care less.
Your partners mood…care less.
How tidy the house is…care less.
The other drivers on the road….care less.
The weather…care less.
Whether your kids are dressed properly…care less.
Just see what happens.
Then ask yourself:
- How did it make me feel?
- Was I more creative?
- Was I more relaxed?
- Was my day more peaceful or joyful?
- I laugh or smile more?Did
Take care and much love.
Want help with getting clear about you path, priorities and a sustainable plan? Then get in contact. Just reply to this email or connect with me on Facebook. Also check out PROCESS YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS workshop if you want help with overcoming obstacles and getting clear of the stories and beliefs that are holding you back (and then processing them).