Irvin Gordon has clocked more than 3 million miles in his Volvo P 1800. The car occupies a special place in the Guinness world records as the car with the highest mileage. Appears an impossible feat, when many of us probably put a hundred thousand miles on our cars and get ready to turn it over.
When Gordon bought the car in 1966, he had a single purpose, drive and enjoy. With routine maintenance, he did not have to try to keep up the car. Regular maintenance and the odometer went on clicking with millions of miles. After 857 oil changes, the car still continues to hum along without a single breakdown.
“Trials succeed but promises fail”, was one of my favorite quotes. Over the years, I realized how wrong I was. The mindset of trying or promising for that matter steal us away from having an optimal life. Trying to do a task, Trying to achieve a goal has stress embedded within it. No wonder, many get exhausted with the trials they put and give-up. “I am trying” becomes a cliched phrase.
A mind-set change is needed.
Stop Trying and Start Living.
Here are 3 ways for you to stop trying and start living:
Trying has an implicit lack associated. Trying is an explicit action based on a weak foundation.
Living has action integrated into it without an explicit cause. Living accepts the need for a continuous sequence of actions driven by thoughts Living recognizes knowledge gained through learning, observing and experiencing. Living refines itself through the gained knowledge. Action combined with knowledge results in Intelligent Action. Living has intelligent action integrated in its DNA. A hallmark of intelligent action is the use of knowledge to make life meaningful. Intelligent action is learned over time. Education plays a major role. Living extends intelligent action to solve a wide range of issues and problems. As an example, Carnegie Mellon uses tools and perspectives to prepare individuals for intelligent action.
Trying usually happens in spurts and then ebbs down.
Living recognizes life is a farming exercise and not a fishing exercise.
Gordon’s Volvo did not clock 3 million miles in a day or even a year, it took 47 years. During these 47 years, the Volvo had regular maintenance built into the schedule. A farmer goes through the motion of tilling, seeding, fertilizing,and harvesting. At each milestone he enjoys the harvest, gets motivated and then starts the cycle all over again. Disruptions occur but a wise farmer knows the process well and is not cowed by the temporary disruptions.
Intelligent Action helps us to understand the process, and like a seasoned farmer we go through a continuous sequence of actions – without the need for explicit stressful trials.
Trying is fearful of constraints and limitations.
Living plans for an independent life. Living recognizes our family, friends, and supporters are there to help build our inner strength but not become dependent on them. Living does not attach worth to any external attribute, entity, person or thing.
Living is a self-winding clock. Like a continuously wounded clock, a life of true living builds up charge and gains strength as we go through performing our actions,. There are no constraints and limitations in living. There could be disruptions, living learns to navigate around, through, and over them. Living’s natural affinity to intelligent action keeps the end goal in view but not get attached to it.
To make the switch from trying to living, we can learn to develop intelligent action, accept the need for continuous action and go about our life with those actions. Life can get monotonous. Hence, we should celebrate at small achievements and milestones, give zeal back to our life. Action is a pre-requisite for every human being. Why not make it Intelligent action?