Trust the Universe or Plan Ahead?

I frequently get questions sent to me and thought to share them here as part of my blog.

QU: Other than trial and error, how do we find the sweet spot between trusting the universe or a higher power and investing time in planning life (e.g., “take it easy, but not lazy”)?

There is an Arab proverb that says, “Trust in God but tie up your camel.” While it’s all well and good to have trust in the universe or a higher power, we are still responsible for our life and the jobs that go along with it. Finding the sweet spot in all of this boils down to our attitude.

Investing time in planning our lives means we are taking responsibility for the course of our lives. If we did not chart a course and instead left it in the hands of something outside of us, we would likely get tossed about. Our job, relationships and life circumstances would be dictated by other people, and then we are likely to blame everyone and everything that goes on in our life. This is called passive living, and our psyche would then be conditioned to living as a victim of our circumstance. 

Investing in your own life and making plans is a smart and empowering choice. Being ambitious means cultivating a passion for going after goals. The journey towards something is exciting and feels great. Only when you become impatient or cannot see things for what they are, then you lose the peace. Set backs are part of the process. You can keep your sweet spot if you can either adapt and accommodate yourself as they arise, or foresee them and plan accordingly.

Balancing both planning and trusting the universe means that we also take stock of our personal capacity. As an individual, we can only do so much. Life has factors beyond our control. Know your strengths and adapt to the uncertainties of life, keeping the right attitude of determination. 

For instance, if you want to grow a tree, you need to plan for it, get the right tools to look after it, plant the seed and spend time tending it to ensure that it will grow. That is what you can control and it becomes sweet always when you enjoy that process. Knowing full well you cannot control the weather does not mean throw in the towel when a typhoon comes, but instead do what you can to protect your hard work and then you can trust, knowing that you’ve done your best. This attitude will ensure you stay in undisturbed calmness. Stay present in the process and adopt the right attitude to your life.

Hersha Chellaram