I didn't create a happier life by sitting back and waiting for things to get better. I surrendered to the bad, thanked the universe for the bad, and said, "bring it on!" The following anecdote helps me visualize happiness when times get tough. Use it to help you see how to achieve freedom and happiness.
Have you ever noticed what it feels like to be a passenger in the car on a route you normally take? All of the sudden you start noticing things you've missed before, like a beautiful patch of wildflowers or an abandoned farm, a quirky name for a road or a beautiful sunset.
When you are the driver you miss these things because you are attached to your destination, staying in between the lines, making the trip in good time, stopping when you need to stop, going when you need to go, and turning when you need to turn.
When you begin to live life as if you are the driver, you become so focused on the destination that you lose sight in the thrill of adventure. You might ignore the things around you that make you smile, and all the things that make your journey worth it.
When you choose to live life as a passenger, you begin to see the world around you in a different way. Trust that there is a driver to your destination and you will get to where you need to be no matter what. You no longer feel the need to control the car or to worry about the time in which you arrive. You no longer feel the need to stay in the lines or worry about proper directions. Now you begin to see the things in your world that are there to make you smile - that may have been there all along.
This is called surrender. It is the key to happiness.
Surrender can also mean letting go completely of the destination.
I once read about a fun date idea: to get in the car and flip a coin. If its heads, you turn right. If its tails, you turn left. Imagine living your life this way and letting go of any attachment to an outcome or a destination and you just went with the flow. The world is full of possibilities. Of back roads and dirt roads and highways and crossroads and bike trails and oceans for you to cross. Don't worry about the destination, just trust you will get there.
Trying to control your life will bring you nothing but stress, anger, and discontent. You will never feel like you are complete if you are always trying to control the universe, the people around you, and your path. Your moment is bigger than you. The world is bigger than you. Life is bigger than you. Let yourself feel the peace that comes with surrender. Take a big sigh and put it in the hands of your driver.
You will find greater joy in the happy things in your world, if you trust that there is a force that will take care of your goals. Whatever divine force you believe in, whether it is the Universe or God or a Guardian Angel...who/whatever. Trust that they have a plan. Every body is born with a purpose and with that purpose comes a path. The hard times are meant to put you there. Those hard times will later develop into something amazing. Every transformation starts with a fire or an end. As for the good times - begin to enjoy them. Trust that its okay to put your work down or let go of something and have fun, relax, or take a breath of fresh air.
[Enjoying this article so far? Check out THIS ONE for related advice!] Click this link to learn how to Release Attachments
The art of surrender requires not only a great deal of trust, but of learning to accept that every single moment is fleeting. The famous quote: "This too shall pass." Has as much to do with the good days as it does the bad days. Every bad moment will pass, of course it will. However, you must accept that your good will soon fade away. So embrace it while it is at your reach. Trust that everything you are worried about is taken care of and go after what makes you happy. Chase the things that make you smile. They will soon pass. Surrender to this fact. So many people get worked up over their good times not lasting or find themselves saying "oh great - another bump in the road." But you must know that another good time will soon come. Surrender to these bad times, and it will be much easier to enjoy the great times while they are there.
So... how do you let go of control & surrender?
There are many ways to help you surrender. If you have ever been told that you are "too tense" or need to "just relax"... then you're not only a lot like me, but you might have trouble coping with the bad times and figuring out HOW to surrender. My best advice for this is to literally train your brain. With every bad time, think of a silver lining. Say thank you to the universe whenever you feel like your life is out of control. Learn to appreciate the bad moments in life because you will never be stressed. You can also train your brain by accepting a negative outcome and thinking of backup plans. Have a list of things you may want to be or do in life. Go down the list and picture a fulfilling life with each one of those things. Maybe in one life you are happily married with kids, but in another you are a CEO of 6 companies and a beautiful home, and in another you are an online blogger traveling the world. Keep your goals, keep your dreams, but accept yourself through all the alternatives. And of course, visualize there is a driver taking you to where you need to be!