You Had One Job: The Only Job You’ll Ever Have
“There is nobody torturing you except yourself. There is nobody except yourself; your whole life is your work, your creation. Buddhism insists on this fact very empathically. Once this is understood, things start changing. Then you can play around; then you can change your hell into heaven – it’s just a question of painting it from a different vision.”
(Osho 2017: 180)
Making ourselves priority in our lives isn’t news. If it is news to you, my dear reader at the other side of this Web connection, let me enlighten you briefly:
Many of us have been raised with the belief that it’s selfish to look after yourself first. Our parents and teachers have done a good job at convincing us that either family life or school should come first. Later in life, a job replaces school. However we manage it, we must take care of these elements first, and only then check-in with ourselves.
That may have been great advice at the time, but it’s not the best advice to hold on to now. To use the most well known example, in the event of a plane crashing down, how can you take care of those sitting next to you if you don’t put on the oxygen mask on your own head first? You’d be dead trying to save others before you could do anything for them.
Okay, great, this is as far as I got until recently too.
During the process of creating the Centre for Conscious Connection I seek the guidance of business coaches and other entrepreneurs who’ve been around the block. The coaches I talked to last week made me realize something of pivotal importance:
I have tricked myself yet again into making others – in this case the people I wish to help through my centre – more important than myself.
This didn’t happen overnight, but over the course of the last few months, and the result was that I slowly slipped into a state of mistrust. I wasn’t sure Life would catch me if I tripped and fell. I had stopped living a life of trust, and I was trying hard to live.
Please read that last bit again.
How can anyone in a perfectly healthy body think they have to try hard at living? Does Life treat me differently if I try hard to please it?
Actually, yes, Life does treat me differently if I try hard to please it. Trying to please means trying to control whatever Life brings. It means resisting what is. And since we’ve all had the experience that “what you resist persists”, it follows that I’ve been through a few vicious circles of handling an issue by trying to control it; leading to even more “life management” done by my mind. I look back with plenty of appreciation for those lessons, but I also admit to losing the feeling of real joy for a while.
Luckily, I was confronted with this behavior last week. Twice it was explained to me that I was making it hard for myself to live. Twice I was reminded of the life of trust.
You see, living a life of trust is not challenging because of the people and situations we (may) come across. It’s challenging because our minds think we can’t handle them. Teaching our minds to trust is the true challenge.
As Madison Taylor puts it:
“It may come in the form of a soft landing, an unexpected rescue or an eye-opening experience gleaned only from the process of falling. So rather than allowing our lives to be dictated by fear of the unknown, or trying to avoid falling, we can appreciate that sometimes we experience life fully when we are willing to trust and fall. And in doing so, we may just find that we have the wings to fly.”
I have rediscovered my wings to fly. It’s those wings, or perhaps the flight, that have inspired me to write this piece.
Yet another important lesson has emerged from the process though. There has always been only one job and it’s not the centre or any other attempt to guide people towards more fulfilling lives.
The only job I’ll ever have is ME.
I am priority. If I don’t live a life of trust, which is a choice by the way, I cannot assist others who wish to do the same.
We humans have been given the great gift of a free will. Often times, though, we choose to use it to try and manage our lives. We think that’s what this free will is for. And it can be, if we wish. But it’s also there to make choices – as many as we come across on a daily basis – that make us feel alive. You know, the choices that feel like an alignment as soon as we listen to our hearts instead of our brains.
This may have been a recent lesson for me, but since you are human and reading this, you have the same job. YOU.
You have the same choice as well. So what job will YOU give priority?
Osho (2017). Trust: living spontaneously and embracing life. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.