While Atlas Is Often Romanticized, His Job Sucks

While Atlas Is Often Romanticized, His Job Sucks

In the garden of the Sarasota, Florida estate of fabled circus entrepreneur John Ringling stands an impressive bronze statue of the Roman god Atlas bearing the world on his shoulders. The first thing I noticed about Atlas was that he was not a happy camper. Atlas was struggling dreadfully and appeared to be on the verge of caving in. Dude, carrying the weight of the world is overbearing.

While Atlas is often romanticized, his job sucks. If you accept his role, your life will suck. If you assume responsibility for everyone and everything around you, you will rapidly become a crispy critter. Besides, it doesn't work. When you try to run the whole show, you get frazzled, frayed, and fatigued. You feel overwhelmed, grow resentful, and then lash out inappropriately, blowing little things into major issues. Over time you may become ill. Shoulder pain, stomach problems, and high blood pressure are strong indicators that you are trying to play Atlas.

If you examine your responsibilities more closely, you will discover it is not the universe that has piled too much on your plate. It is you. You have taken on jobs not assigned to you. You are trying too hard. Frustration and conflict are messages from the universe that it is time to back off. The longer you wait to get the message, the harder your journey will be. Let go now and beat the rush later.

I went to a friend's birthday party at a local beach. My friend's mother attended, and she decided she would make sure everyone had a good time. (You can see where this is headed.) From the moment the guests arrived, the mother orchestrated where everyone was to sit, how far apart their blankets were to be, how and where the food was to be put out, when people were to eat, and on and on. While she was trying to be helpful, her nervous energy was irritating and detracted from the natural flow of the event. The guests could figure out where to sit; it didn't really matter how far their blankets were apart; and when they got hungry, they would find their way to the food. Most of us had been eating for our entire lives, and finding food at a party posed no big existential dilemma. I'm sure mom was having the least fun of everyone there.

If you think the world would unravel if you did not keep it glued, lay back more. Watch what happens when you allow life to take care of itself. If there is something you really need to do, you will know it. If not, don't try to solve problems before they occur. In so doing, you create all kinds of problems that wouldn't have happened if you weren't trying to head them off.

If you have assigned yourself the position of General Manager of the Universe, you probably resist delegating. Then you end up doing all kinds of things you don't want or need to do. Then you wonder why you feel overwhelmed. Or why your business isn't growing. Or why your children are so needy. It's not them. It's you.

Your way out is simple, but not easy: Admit that there are other people in the universe who can do some things as well as you. Maybe -- hold onto your seat, now -- even better than you. I know this is a totally radical, unreasonable, and heretical concept to suggest, but alas, it may be so.


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Letting other people take over some of the things you are doing, alien as this sounds, offers some very attractive benefits:

  1. You can quit doing things you don't want to do;
  2. You free yourself to do the things you want to do;
  3. Your business's productivity and income will increase;
  4. You will support and empower others to develop their gifts and talents and be rewarded for them;
  5. Everyone will be happier and healthier; and
  6. You might actually have a life.

If you believe you must do it all yourself, you probably feel lonely. Life can get scary when you believe you have no one to lean on. Yet when you are connected to your higher power, you proceed with the confidence of kings. A Course in Miracles tells us, "If you knew who walks beside you, fear would be impossible." Whether you believe in God, love, people, science, or your pooch, one thing is certain: You have help. The intelligent resourceful universe keeps showing up to support those who need it -- sometimes in miraculous ways.

A woman told me that she had wanted to come to Hawaii for a seminar, but didn't have the funds for airfare. She figured that if she could not come to be in my program, she would read one of my books that she had had for a while. She went to her bookshelf, opened the book, and out fell a check someone had given her a year earlier. It was in the amount of $450 -- exactly what she needed for the airfare.

Such an experience is not a fluke; it is a demonstration of how universal principles get behind you as you align with them. Miracles do not suspend the laws of life; they fulfill them. The river of life is always flowing; our part is to get our boat into the water and let the current power us. It's all a lot easier than you've been told. Give Atlas a break; he's ready.

Book by this author:

Relax Into Wealth: How to Get More by Doing Less
by Alan Cohen.

This is not a book specifically on creating wealth through financial techniques, career choices, etc. Rather it discusses one's overall disposition toward wealth from all aspects of life and how attitude can affect the tangible assets one has. As such, it would make a very good addition to your financial library.

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About The Author

Alan CohenAlan Cohen is the bestselling author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy and of the newly-released Spirit Means Business. Join Alan and musician Karen Drucker in Hawaii, December 1-6, for an extraordinary retreat, “A Course in Miracles: the Easy Path.” For more information about this program, Alan’s Holistic Life Coach Training beginning January 1, his books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com