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Monday, November 14, 2005 

When all else fails, try a little Gelassenheit

A few months ago, I was discussing the Amish way of life with a few friends in Utah and I was asked: "So why live like that? What is the reason?" Honestly, I had no idea. Today I found it out. The Amish way of life, and the limits it imposes, stem from "their core value: Gelassenheit, which means yielding to Gods will" writes Ed Tenner in July 2005's Technology Review. (He has a cool article about how the Amish have developed cool technologies which conform to their way of life and how some of them are even more energy efficient than their conventional, electrical counterparts).

I find this concept very interesting and in fact it may actually have something that all of us can learn from. There are times when things just dont fall into place. No matter how much we try, we cant get that job offer or interview. Or that contract. Or get the assignment done on time. Whatever it may be. If you're putting in all your efforts, and not seeing the result, instead of getting completely bogged down and let it affect your productivity or the effort you need to put into something else, try a little Gelassenheit.

Also, it is possible, that after doing so, some miracle may happen and things may work out eventually. I've unknowingly tried this concept before and have seen it work with my own eyes. In one of my computer science classes at Ohio Wesleyan, I'd been stuck on a problem while debugging some of my code and had already put in hours behind it with no result. Then I completely left it aside and moved on to an assignment in another class. then later that day, while taking a shower, something struck me, and it was an assumption that I was making in my algorithm that I shouldnt have been making that was causing problems. It just came out of the blue. I wasn't even thinking of the problem in the shower. I feel that recently, I just havent trusted myself (or maybe God) enough to put things in His hands when I should have.

Luckily, my reading of this article comes at a great time. Lately, I've been dealing with two different things where I have put in a lot of time and effort without seeing any results. I have interacted with many people to get something done or to work on a situation. I've spent hours sending emails, talking to friends over the phone. This has been going on for the last at least the three weeks (and even more) and at this point I'm completely ready to give up. Now, I am really thinking of leaving both of these upto God and moving on! I think it is time when I try a little Gelassenheit and move on! Whatever God wants, will happen.

we should discuss this sometime when we have the time.

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About me

  • I'm Indyman
  • From Seattle, WA, United States
  • I am a Risk Management Consultant at KPMG. Before this, I was an Investment Associate at University Venture Fund in Salt Lake City, UT. My personal interests are in venture capital, private equity, technology, real estate, entrepreneurship, investing, stocks, india, patriotism, mumbai, hanoi, vietnam and life in the united states.
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