I used to believe that life was supposed to be good.
That the idea was to avoid bad things and that if something bad happened, my job was to fix it.
One day, while performing on piano with a singer, I noticed that we weren’t in sync. It was the singer’s fault (she had skipped like 3 beats of music), and I could have skipped ahead to join her. But, I was reluctant to do that, because it meant I would mess up the music I could see written on the page.
I had a conflict.
I could either:
- Make the overall performance sound better but sacrifice the integrity of the music and subject myself to criticism from people who know the music? Or,
- Make the music sound more correct and subject myself to anger from the singer for ruining the performance?
Either way I looked at it, it was impossible to avoid a negative outcome.
The singer had made a mistake, and this forced me to choose between the lesser of two evils.
I sure am glad I noticed the inevitability of a bad outcome here. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to make a choice. I would have had no choice but to put out a fire that wasn’t even all that bad.
By accepting one negative consequence, I was able to prevent something even worse from happening.
(Of course, I skipped ahead to join her, but don’t think that decision didn’t cause stress for me!)
This is the power of awareness (when you can see what’s going on) and equanimity (when you can let things happen without trying to change them).
It can change your life.
Unless, of course, you don’t want to change your life.
Then (and only then) you should carry on as usual.
But, if the idea of change sounds tasty, you might be a candidate for No Problem.