How to Take Life Seriously

Q: Dear Todd, how to take life seriously?

TODD ANSWERS: When we wonder whether we are taking life too seriously or not enough, we are stuck in the middle of two polarities. The key to breaking free is to not take life at all. That’s right. Just leave it be. None of us are so powerful as to be able to control the many forces of the universe that were set in motion long before we arrived on the scene.

When we are too serious, we try to control everything. But of course, we cannot. And so, we get very frustrated when things don’t go our way. When we are too serious, we can never enjoy ourselves because trying to be in control is a 24/7 job.

Similarly, when we aren’t serious enough, we only go with the flow. Life happens to us instead of us playing the role we were put on this Earth to play. We take no active role and we just hope for the best.

But the wise sage knows of the middle path, free from polarities. The wise person understands their role as witness and creator. We don’t have to always juggle the universe in our hands. With presence and mindfulness, we can see where action can be taken to create better outcomes, and we can see what is beyond our ability and thus beyond our area of concern. With presence, we can flow while influencing outcomes. We can find joy in work, we can be silly and serious, and we can relax yet be responsible.

The key to finding the middle path is action without attachment to the outcome. Action without thoughts about the future is how we enjoy the grind. All life happens in the present moment. Procrastination is death because we are inviting the past into the now. We are delaying being present as long as we delay a task that needs to be done.

The quicker we do the tasks that need to be done in our lives, the quicker we can get back to, and stay, in the here and now. In this way, we become more responsible. Our lives begin to look more serious from the outside, but on the inside we are as joyful, playful, present and free as can be.

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