How Surrendering Your Expectations Can Change Your Life (feat. Brian Andrés Helmick)
Leaders like to be in control.
Every action you take is toward a goal. Every step along the way is often thoughtfully planned. When you cannot see the way forward, you step back and reassess where you veered off the path.
But often we focus too quickly on “the how.” What happens when you start to ask why?
Brian Andrés Helmick believes the core reason behind your goals is at least as important as the goals themselves. He also believes that the universe has a plan for the greater good, and that, if we will just listen, the way forward will be made clear.
Brian is an angel investor focused on impact investing in four sectors: financial inclusion/FinTech, EdTech, food/AgTech, and environmental sustainability. He started his career in private equity at General Atlantic and Goldman Sachs, then earned his MBA and founded two companies as an entrepreneur. Recently, he took a year-long sojourn, traveling the world and learning the power of surrender.
In this episode, Brian shares his spiritual journey and how learning to surrender his expectations led him to impact investing.
The Difference Between Giving Up And Letting Go
Surrender was not a word in Brian’s vocabulary prior to his sojourn. He knew exactly where he wanted to go and how to get there. But he also knew that something was missing. When he encountered a perfect storm—shutting down a company, going through a divorce, and having his father fall ill all around the same time—he realized that he couldn’t do it on his own anymore. And, more importantly, that he didn’t have to.
“It wasn’t a break down, it was a break open,” he says. “The messages are constantly coming to us. It’s just a question of whether we’re saying, ‘I know what’s best. And this is the direction that I need to head,’ or instead saying, ‘let me assume that I don’t know,’ and pause to hear what God, the universe, coincidence, whatever you want to label it as, is sending me. And all of a sudden when I did the latter, clarity started to arrive.”
From this breaking open, Brian learned to let go.
“Letting go and giving up are not the same thing. It’s about surrendering expectations. It’s letting go of judgment, duality, and to saying, ‘I know what is best.’” – Brian Andrés Helmick
By letting go of his expectations and assuming he didn’t always know what was best, Brian started on a path he had not foreseen: from investing to entrepreneurship, to a spiritual journey, to impact investing.
He discovered that things were not happening to him, they were happening for him.
Rules Of Surrender
When Brian set out on his sojourn, he set five rules for himself, to learn how to surrender control and listen to what the universe was telling him.
- The plan is to never have a plan. (!)
- Say yes to everything you get invited to do, regardless of what it is, and even more so if it’s something you don’t want to do.
- If three separate individuals mention the same thing, you have to do it.
- Never think about the future; never think about the past. Be in the present.
- No social media.
Following these rules led Brian to incredible experiences:
- Climbing Machu Picchu
- Learning Italian from former nuns in the Netherlands
- Helping refugees off the coast of North Africa
- Walking from Assisi to Rome
“I believe that there is a path for every unique incarnation that is out there. So, everybody is literally on their own perfect path.” – Brian Andrés Helmick
Surrendering is about discovering your path. Brian’s led him to impact investing. Where will yours lead?
Brian also shares…
- Thoughts on doing good while doing well.
- Replacing the word “decide” with “discern.”
- Be effective with others by going inward.
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