Being told what to do

Last night I had a dream that I was being asked what to do by a young man who had built a business on the strengthen his own skills but was on the brink of having to take on the management of others.

I didn’t tell him what to do. I told him stories of my own experiences of managing others. I remembered that many had expected me to tell them what to do but that I resisted. My job was to explain and give context and then get out of the way as they worked out what needed done.

The same is true of life. All too often we expect someone else to tell us what to do, whether some beardy guy in the sky, some ex-pat Tibetan Lama, or the latest self help guru. We want to be told what to do to make everything all right.

But it doesn’t work like that. It is our life and we have to work it out for ourselves. We can listen to their stories, and we can learn from their experiences, but it is the working it out that is the point.

Miss that and we miss life.

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