On July 31 I recounted my personal heath care nightmare story. The details do not need to be repeated here. But even as a physician (who knows the health care system), I still got screwed by my own insurance. They shifted me to a new insurance plan; they billed me monthly for the insurance; and they (nicely) failed to disclose which doctors were part of the plan. Therefore, my family members ended up being seen by doctors who could not bill our insurance. Which was probably just what the insurance company wanted. Consequently, although I paid $1,000 a month for health insurance, there is no possibility of being reimbursed for the doctor visits we needed. The insurance company’s profit went up; my family’s health went down. Sound familiar?
So, what’s my point? Well, do you know how they capture rhesus monkeys in Indonesia? They find a coconut, cut off the top, clean out the coconut, and create a hollow that can be filled with rice or peanuts. The coconut is staked to the ground. The monkey finds the coconut, reaches its hand inside, and grabs a handful of goodies. But when it attempts to pull out the treasure, the larger fist cannot slip out through the narrow opening. Many monkeys simply will not let go of the goodies. They stand trapped, waiting to be caught. My point is simple. If you are going to move toward your goals and toward happiness, you may need to let go of something.
For me, it is important to walk my talk. Buddha observed that we are not punished for our anger; we are punished by our anger. What does that mean in the case of my health insurance nightmare? I could let my anger fuel more phone calls to the insurance company. I could even let my anger convince me to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. But what would that do for me? It would keep my anger alive. But what does anger do to your health? It produces the wrong hormones and damages your immune system. So, which is more important? To recoup my money? Or to focus on my health?
For me (and possibly you), the key is learning to let go of anger. I have tried to do that through this post. It is not easy when you know that you have not been treated fairly. The business world is not geared toward fairness or what’s best for you. That means that you have to take more control of your life, your emotions, and your own happiness. Sometimes less is more. If that monkey grabbed less (or let go of what it had grabbed), it could escape to a better life. The same is true for me. The same is true for you. For me, I am letting go of my health insurance nightmare. But what about you? Think about it. What could you let go of right now? What would make your life better?