What is is, but that doesn’t mean it’s what has to be.
This simple phrase grounds and aspires all at the same time. As far as I can tell, I coined it about 10 years ago in response to that phrase I’m sure you’ve heard,”It is what it is.”
That phrase drives me a little nuts. There’s so much laziness and resignation in it. Nothing just is what it is. We have a hand in making it that way.
What is is
Have you ever caught yourself living in the gap between what is and what you want the world or your life to be? In 2007, my wife April and I made our first visit to Hawaii. It was absolute love at first sight. We instantly decided we wanted to live there, but there were and remain a number of barriers to us living there full-time.
At one point we realized that we were so enamored with the idea living there, that we weren’t enjoying the days and the moments where we were.
For we dreamers, this is a problem. We’re always aspiring to a different, better world or circumstance. How do we remain happy in the now?
Power hack: The way I made peace with this gap between what is and what I wish were, was relatively simple. Live with love in this moment, living fully in and enjoying the now for all it has to offer. If you truly want change, though, don’t be in love with this moment. To borrow a phrase from the Bible, be in this moment, but not of this moment.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s what has to be
Here’s the good news. Nothing is set in stone. Nothing just is what it is. What a dead, uninspiring world it would be were that true. You are the engine, the action, the part of the equation that can change what is. In fact, it’s why you’re here.
What is will remain what is, if you give up or become unconscious to it. However, if you consciously take action towards what can be, things are reshaped into something better. That won’t happen if you get stuck in the “It is what it is” mindset.
The esteemed Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, said, “Enlightenment, peace, and joy will not be granted by someone else. The well is within us.”
Let us make peace with this moment and find our joy in it, even as we never give an inch on what we believe can and should be.
You’re all awesome! Thank you so much for reading the blog!