Why caring less can accomplish more

This summer I read Amy Poehler’s memoir Yes Please. One thing that keeps coming back to me is a point she made about being successful. In the middle of her “career advice” chapter, she talks about the importance of ambivalence. She argues that in order to be successful in any area of life you have to remain a little ambivalent towards what you’re working. In other words, you have to passionately care about what you’re doing but also not care at all. It seems contradictory and crazy, but it makes sense! Investing and working towards something that really matters is essential, but once you’ve reached a certain point you have to let go and allow things to just be.

Yes, Please

When I think about all the times my mental space has been consumed with worry or anxiety about the future or specific things, I realize a little more ambivalence and a lot less thinking might be best – especially when it comes to things completely out of my control. It’s good to put 100% effort, but once that’s said and done, as Elsa in Frozen says, “let it go!”

birds of the air

Jesus in Matthew 6 tells us that if God takes care of the flowers and the birds, he will certainly look after us. He concludes by saying,

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

While I’m most certainly not a fatalist, I do think I could use the the famous Spanish song and lyrics “Que Sera, Sera” (whatever will be, will be) in my life a little more. My husband once told me years ago (maybe a few more times than once), that I needed to care less about most things in life. While I partially understood his point then, I think I’m beginning to really get his advice. He would often point out that 95% of things were out of our control and that after we’ve done what we can, we just have stop worrying or thinking about it. He argued that guys are much better at this than girls (ladies, maybe you care to disagree?). Maybe when we care a little less, we live a lot more. 

So here’s to doing the absolute best I can as a mom, wife, friend, sister, reader, author while caring less about the result and more about the process.

Here’s to praying for God’s best in every situation while trusting Him and His faithfulness to work all things together for our good.

Here’s to working hard while stopping to smell the roses and appreciating the small things.

stopping to smell the roses

 

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