Because I’m someone who has been lovingly described as “oppositional” by his supervisor, it’s no surprise that I’m not a big fan of prescribed advice. I cringe at those “22 ways to love your life at 22” articles not only because context of someone’s life matters, but also because most advice I hear is contradictory.

With love, for example, it’s either, “Stop looking for it, and it will find you,” or it’s, “Prince Charming ain’t gonna walk up to your door step, so get your ass up and go be present out there!” Spiritual advice can be just as conflicting and echoes this tension between letting go and taking action.

Ancient masters are consistent in their message of letting go: it’s supposed to be the key to letting the universe run its course. Buying homes, finding jobs, having children, planning travel–many believe that good things come when we wait for the right time and place, not forcing things to happen, or else we’re left with a false sense of achievement with a quick expiration date.

Riddled with anxiety, many of us choose to make fate happen. Letting go requires an incredible amount of faith and trust that everything is being orchestrated just as it should be, so in its unpredictability, it becomes a less appetizing choice. I struggle with this tension when I ask myself if the choice to act is what my guides divinely ordered.

Like many tensions, the answer can be found in a both/and response. Yes, we let go, and yes, we take action. We actively pursue what we want, and we also let go of our fears and anxieties that things won’t work out. Remember that our energies create our realities, and nervous people make nervous lives. Positive people create positive lives.

It’s true that good things happen in time, but never do we find ourselves situated in the right place at the right time without any effort on our part. Even lottery winners had to drive to a gas station, buy their ticket, and watch the news to see they’ve won–so trust the process and go to your district office and claim that prize, honey! It’s out there waiting for you.

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