Our expectation that nothing should come in our way, often comes in our way
Our culture often glamorizes go-getters who achieve great goals without letting anything come in their way. Captivated by such portrayals, we may resolve to rigidly stick to our dreams and plans, no matter what happens.
But life is tough, being filled with unexpected obstacles. When such obstacles thwart our plans, we may keep pushing on. However, over time, when we hit roadblocks repeatedly, we may become increasingly disheartened and resentful.
Often, what triggers such negativity is not so much the outer obstacles but the inner expectation that those obstacles shouldn’t be there. Thus, the more we hold on to unrealistic expectations, the more we increase our negativity.
Should we, then, stop having expectations? No, we just need to expect obstacles too and learn to respond to them resourcefully, not resentfully.
The Bhagavad-gita (18.43) explains that people who get things done are resourceful. Resourcefulness is the ability to improvise and innovate for finding ways around obstacles without becoming unduly attached to predetermined expectations or plans.
How can we become more resourceful? Apart from various specific strategies, we can seek spiritual self-understanding, which can unleash our resourcefulness.
Gita wisdom explains that we are not the Supreme Controller, but are parts of the Supreme Controller. Being finite, we have a finite capacity to control, which we are meant to use to plan and execute our plans. But when things don’t go as per our plan, we need to remind ourselves that things are still within the purview of Krishna’s plan. And within his plan, we always have roles; if we keep doing our part creatively, he will take care of things.
When we thus understand our place and purpose in the overall scheme of things, we feel inspired to resourcefully keep doing our best, whether things go according to our plan or not.
Think it over:
- How can our expectations become obstacles?
- Do we need to give up all expectations?
- How does spiritual self-understanding foster resourcefulness?
18.43 Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the kshatriyas.
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