When someone is being aggressive and pushing you, what happens when you push back? Try it physically or mentally and you’ll have the answer. They push back harder. And if you get caught up in this game of “just push harder” without making any meaningful changes to your strategy, you’re giving up your time and energy. And maybe more. If you keep trying the same thing expecting different results, you meet one definition of insanity.
Take the war on drugs for example. Since 1970, we as a country have spent more than one trillion dollars fighting this war and the rate of drug use has not budged. And yet we blindly push on. There have been over 45 million drug arrests bringing our prison population up to about 2.5 million. We have more people behind bars than any other country. Even Russia, where you can go to jail for liking something on Facebook!
So what’s the solution when we are engaged in a pushing war? I think it’s to quit. If someone comes up to push you, step out of the way. Think outside of the box. Use their energy against them. If they already have their hands on you, yield. Regain your balance and kindly help them to the ground. You’re not the first person in the world to get pushed. What have other people done in the same situation to gain positive results?
Back to the war on drugs example, what have other countries done to successfully deal with drugs? Portugal has ended all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs and has replaced prison with treatment. So does Portugal now have problems of biblical proportions with fire and brimstone coming down from the sky? Dogs and cats living together? Mass hysteria? Not quite. It turns out that there has been no rise in drug use there. HIV and AIDS have declined. Drug-related court cases have declined.
Once you realize you’re over-committed, or off-balance, you can take the opportunity to come back to center. You can try a different tack. You can realize anything you fight, you give power to. It doesn’t matter if it’s a physical enemy, an emotion or a mindset. Life isn’t a fight. It’s not a war. It’s more like a rhythm, more like a dance. We have partners, not opponents. And we have to move, not dig in.