Is Accepting Things as They Are Bad For Growth?

A lot of people think that accepting things as they are means we don’t need to take any action, we don’t need to improve anything, and that “letting go” means giving up. I was even asked once, “Doesn’t being happy mean that we would not care about anything and we would never try to develop ourselves spiritually, financially or personally?”
I understand where these questions are coming from. From a nonspiritual place, acceptance does mean rolling over and giving up. Letting go does sound like it must mean we stop trying to control the course of our lives.

But spiritually, these definitions are about internally making peace with whatever life throws our way. It has nothing to do with the external actions we take. In fact, the more we stop resisting and fighting with reality internally, the less energy we waste on anger and stress, and the more energy we have to actually put into our goals and dreams.

To accept and make peace with our own shortcomings, and to make peace with the disadvantages we have in life, is really the best way to overcome them. When we dwell on negativity, we get drained of energy, we become immobilized with fear, and our pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Only with clarity, peace and joy can we have the dedication, focus and courage to create the most optimal external conditions in our lives.

In this article, I will discuss how we can do exactly that.

What Does It Mean to Accept Things As They Are

The spiritual definition of acceptance is not about inaction at all. It’s about stillness within, and wise action externally. A lot of research shows that not accepting, resisting, and putting needless pressure on ourselves to change causes anxiety, fear, mistakes, and is not the best form of motivation. Nor is it sustainable. There can only be lasting change and progress through acceptance, and we won’t have to waste precious energy criticizing ourselves or our circumstances.
Nonacceptance is to be at war with reality. When we battle reality, we are not seeing clearly. We cannot honestly assess our situations. And we will be in a constant state of stress. Reality is what it is. To fight it is futile. But once we can accept it, then we can change it.

When we are fearful, panicked and stressed, our vision becomes myopic and narrow. We develop tunnel vision, only being able to see what is right in front of us instead of the bigger picture. This is a survival mechanism we developed when living in the jungle so that we could focus on a tiger or bear and tune out everything else.

But today, this narrow, fearful vision causes nothing but suffering. It makes us lose sight of what really matters, it blows each moment out of proportion, and it causes us to see a false reality. Only when we can relax can we be creative and wise. To relax, we have to accept. Once we accept, we can see the many options at our disposal and we can take the best course of action.

Why Do We Need to Accept Things As They Are

When we resist what is, we become stressed. Our work becomes forced and eventually we will burn out. The people who succeed in the long run, whether at business or in their personal lives, enjoy the journey. They know their strengths, they work on their weaknesses with ease, and they can maintain hard work because to them it is play.

People who love the grind, who love self-improvement and who love to find their flaws so that they can work on them have no need to “blow off steam.” They are not accumulating stress moment by moment.

To live in a constant state of anger, discontent and lack is a one-way ticket to anxiety, depression, OCD and addiction. When we can work on building the life of our dreams with ease instead, everything comes easier.

Gratitude and appreciation don’t lead to lethargy, apathy, or having no ambition. They lead to a positive, confident, abundant mindset that knows with certainty we can achieve anything. Acceptance works with reality to achieve our dreams. Resistance denies reality and causes us to worry and doubt ourselves, which leads to self-sabotage.

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How Do You Accept Things As They Are

There really is no difference between work and play except by how we talk about it in our mind. Whatever we are resisting the most, that is the thing we need to embrace head on. Whenever we notice our mind complaining, change the mental story to excitement and appreciation. How we feel about everything in our lives is no more than a mental story. It has no basis in reality. It occurred because of an unconscious reaction based on our past. Just as our past creates the conditions for our mental habits, we can create new mental habits.

Change the word “work” to “play” in your mind. Change “hate” to “love” when it comes to your profession or self-improvement. Generate a joyful and exciting story about the things you wish to change. This is how we will have the energy and enthusiasm to achieve our wildest dreams. Everything that is possible is possible. It just takes the right mindset.

1. Practice Appreciating the Moment

We will look back on our lives one day with fondness. We will admire ourselves for our hard work and dedication. So why wait until we’re older? If our older selves could go back in time and tell us something, it would be not to worry so much and appreciate the time we had.

Time is the most precious commodity in our lives. We don’t have a lot of it. Acceptance doesn’t mean doing nothing, it means making the most of every moment we have. It’s about inward stillness, outward action. It’s about flowing with the dance of energy all around us, like a martial artist. We don’t block life’s blows, we divert them.

We must be present for each moment in our lives, not resisting it, but using the energy of our external environment to create change instead of resisting it. The tools and resources for change are all around us, we just have to open our eyes to reality in order to seize the opportunities.

2. Love Reality Before You Change It

Learn to love what is. A lot of people think that fear and pressure are the best forms of motivation, but that is only true in the short term. In the long term, all that pressure and stress leads to heart disease, cancer, and addiction. It also kills creativity, wisdom and vision.

The energy we bring into the world is the energy that will be reflected back to us. Do we really want to fight reality? Trust me, it’s a losing game. If we let stress and pressure motivate us, we will not be able to endure the truly difficult challenges that we will surely face if we wish to achieve great success.

When we have the confidence that we can face hardships with peace, we can take on the biggest of challenges. Even if we get knocked down, we won’t get knocked out. We will be able to get right back up and nothing will be able to stop us.

No one knew this better than Michael Jordan. He embraced failure with fearlessness. He wanted to miss the most shots because he knew that that was how he would become the greatest. He loved the hard work, he embraced the early mornings and late nights of practice, and that is why he thrived under pressure.

So be like Mike. Love your flaws, love your disadvantages, and you will be able to overcome anything. When you love every negative in your life, everything becomes positive. From this kind of positive energy, every door in life opens up to us.

We think happiness is a house, spouse, kids, cars and vacations. But how many people have those things and are still unhappy? It’s not the goals that matter, it’s the process. The book, Aloneness to Oneness, shares the 22 most important life lessons Todd Perelmuter discovered on his 9-year journey around the world living with monks, gurus, shamans and tribes. It contains the secrets for maintaining true happiness and deep inner peace in an ever-increasing chaotic world.

Nothing is Ever Gone

  • Post category:Spiritual Journey
  • Post published:March 27, 2024
  • Reading time:8 mins read