10 Ways to Let Go of the Hustle and Surrender to the Flow – Tiny Buddha
“You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen.” ~Kody Keplinger
I have always been an overachiever: straight As, the top of my class; whatever I endeavored, I aimed to be the best at it. I strived through high school, college, graduate school, and in the corporate world.
My hard work came with awards, accolades, and the feeling of accomplishment. But it also came with burnout, exhaustion, and the feeling of never being good enough.
Once I achieved a goal, I was happy for a minute. But my next thought would inevitably be, “There must be more to life than this.”
Even though it didn’t feel good, I repeated this pattern of strive + achieve + repeat at every level in my life, until I had an epiphany.
It happened a few years ago when I traveled to Bali for a yoga retreat. While exploring the small third-world island, I noticed the locals with modest homes tending their fields, or running their local shop. One thing stood out: They all seemed incredibly happy—or at the very least, content—with their lives.
This struck me for a couple reasons. For one, they didn’t live lavish lifestyles or have big houses or fancy cars. They weren’t climbing any corporate ladder or angling for a big promotion.
But this didn’t matter. They appeared to be present, at peace, and enjoying the simple things that life offered.
What a stark contrast this sentiment and lifestyle was with the one I just traveled from. Despite their lack of first world luxuries, these people seemed to have something we Americans (and I) didn’t: happiness, peace, and a sense of “enough.”
I started to question my own desire for striving, for perfection. I wondered if all my efforts were actually keeping me away from the peace and acceptance I desired most. It seemed like a vicious cycle.
After I left Bali, I kept this idea of “maybe it’s okay not to strive” in my head. And instead of embracing my perfectionist tendencies, I started to consider another way.
Throughout the years since my trip, I haven’t totally abandoned my high-achieving ways (though I’m still working on it). But I’m now able to see that there is a time to strive and a time to let go. A time to make things happen and a time to allow things to happen.
And, perhaps even more importantly, I learned that you can’t necessarily strive your way to happiness. In fact, it’s often the path of surrendering, accepting, and being at peace with where you are that truly helps you tap into that sense of contentment and ease.
So if you find yourself over-efforting, working hard, toiling without any respite, it may be time to explore the opposite path: surrender. When you surrender, you invite life to flow as it will and you roll with the current instead of fighting to swim upstream.
When you surrender to the flow, you open yourself to possibilities instead of forcing opportunities that might not be right. You embrace and honor where you are, without worrying about where you need to be.
When you notice yourself striving but feel like what you really desire is peace, these ten steps help you to let go of the hustle and embrace the flow.