Do you know the story about the two guys who were camping when a bear showed up? The one guy started putting on his shoes. The other guy said, “What are you doing? You can’t outrun a bear! The first guy responded, “I don’t have to. I only have to outrun you!”
Some people seem always to be running away from bears. Some bears are external like the normal responsibilities of life that create a sense of urgency and pressure.
But, you can get so accustomed to being motivated by pressure that even where there is nothing that needs to be done, you create your own internal “bears.”
- Do you always think you need to make more money as if there is never enough?
- Do you worry that unless you are always pushing yourself, things will fall apart?
- Do you see what is wrong far more clearly than that which is right in your life?
Running from bears doesn’t bring out the best in you. When you are motivated by fear, you tend to be focused, tense and driven to reduce your anxiety. There is little or no place for creativity, joy and peace. Yet, some of our very best work is done when we actually get ourselves in a state of joy and peace. It is here we are most creative and able to see new possibilities.
There are some useful tools to shift from chasing the bear to being peaceful and joyful.
- Catch yourself when you are judging things to be not right or not good enough. Remind yourself that things are actually just as they should be. There is no one way our lives are supposed to be. We get to be part of the adventure we call life.
- Remind yourself of all that life provides for you without any effort or concern on your part. The sun shines. The rain falls. Food grows. You are provided so much of what you need. You can trust that life itself is on your side. There is no bear, unless you create one.
I encourage you to put your shoes away. You don’t need to outrun anyone because there is no bear.