Do you trust that the sun will rise tomorrow?
Chances are, you don’t even give it any thought. It’s so obvious to you that you don’t need to commit any energy to wondering whether or not it will.
You likely don’t stay up at night trying to figure out what you need to do in order to make sure the sun shows up. Or replay scenarios of your day where you failed to do what was necessary, or compromised it in some way.
On a sunrise hike with a friend before a course in Scottsdale, Arizona last month, it occurred to me that, while I might not often stop to watch the sun rise, I never question whether or not it will.
But we don’t do this in life.
In our own lives, we operate as if we’re the sun’s puppet master, making sure we pull the strings in exactly the right way so it dances into existence each morning.
This shows up in the form of…
…overwhelm when you can’t get everything done.
…excessive to-do lists and reorganizing to-do lists.
…refusing to say ‘no’ and overcommitting.
…stressing about not getting enough done.
…beating ourselves up for ‘slipping up’ when we miss a workout or a practice session.
…failing in some way in our jobs.
…getting into an argument with a loved one.
In each of these situations, it’s easy to slip into the fear of the sun not rising again unless we are there to pull the strings.
Ultimately, I’ve come to understand this need for control as a distrust of life.
Previously, when people asked me how they could reduce or eliminate their need for control, I often shared with them that the antidote to control is TRUST.
But telling a control freak to ‘trust’ is about as useful as asking my puppy, Opi, to please behave because she’s driving me insane.
Just like a puppy’s nature is to drive you insane, a control freak’s nature is to control.
And I’ve found that trust can be control in disguise.
In other words, “Okay. I’ll relax and TRUST that the exact outcome I would like to occur will occur.”
Instead, more recently, I’ve come to understand that the antidote to control is WONDER.
- I wonder what might happen if I said ‘no’ to the next 10 requests…
- I wonder what might be available now that this person has said ‘no’ to working with me…
- I wonder what is so important to my (insert relationship) that they got so upset with me for…
Wonder gives you more access to the unknown. Trust and control tend to be focused on one specific outcome — which is just one out of the infinite possibilities available in any given circumstance!
The brain tends to focus and get hung up on the limited possibilities that it sees available and then tightly clings to one of those outcomes for a sense of security.
But wonder opens you up to the endless creativity of life.
Wonder knows that the sun will rise. It doesn’t need to control it. So it can play with whatever the day brings. It can play with bringing as much as it can TO the day.
All with the child-like nature of wonder.
Wonder doesn’t come automatically to most. Most people have hard-wired worry where wonder is supposed to go.
So here’s an exercise:
- ️What are your top 3 worries?
- Wonder about them instead.
- “I’m worried about whether or not my business will grow this year.”
2. “I wonder how many different ideas I could come up with that would grow my business this year…”
When we switch from worry to wonder, we shift from survival to creativity.
If you weren’t worrying about how to make sure the sun would rise tomorrow, I wonder what you’d create with all of that energy…