Have you ever lived life by all the “rules” and then discovered they didn’t really pan out? What you thought was supposed to “work” in life just didn’t? I think that sometimes this kind of disappointment is what stops people from running after their dreams.
I remember sitting in a shrink’s office explaining how I had done everything by the book and felt completely cheated by life or “how things were supposed to happen”, I didn’t regret doing things the “right” way though. It wasn’t producing what I had expected but I was ecstatic because it had produced a world of new opportunities. And it made me a greater risk taker…this is what I was telling my shrink, but let me explain what I meant.
I have run into this more than once in my life and every time I have had to reassess what I really knew and why. It is not that the basic truths of why we do things change or the values around why we did them or believed them in the first place change but I think it is more that we come to a place where we realize that we cannot control the outcome of everything. We also have to go for the new opportunities and view on things.
It’s almost like having a vision of something you want to paint but then when you actually sit down to create what shows up is something completely different. It’s not that you at this point completely throw out what you know but you begin to realize that sometimes it is the unexpected outcome that is better than the predictable one. It leads you to more possibilities you wouldn’t have had to begin with and you begin to question what is possible.
Think about why we follow certain rules in life, it is usually because we want a certain outcome in our lives. We follow them believing that if we do A and B we will always get C. But real life doesn’t work that way. Even when you have faith for something and really believe for something sometimes the opposite happens. You can do all the right things and get the opposite result than you expected. What do we do with these types of situations?
Many will take a circumstance like this and decide that it will never happen again but instead of learning from the situation and trusting themselves to make wiser decisions they will build a fortress around themselves. These types of fortresses may keep the bad out but it also keeps all the good out too.
Maybe you started a business and failed, you started to get into shape but failed, maybe you invested all you had into a relationship and it failed, maybe you played by the rules and in the end they didn’t produce what was promised. But the truth is we get to decide the meaning we give things in our lives, we get to decide how it will define our future.
If we choose to make life lessons actual lessons that can propel us towards greater success in our lives than in actuality what we walk through is never a failure. It’s true that we only get one chance at this life but the reality is that part of life is about who we become in the process and less about how perfect our lives are.
The next time you are faced with the fear of “what if it fails” remind yourself that even if it does it doesn’t mean an end, but a beginning. Look for and expect the new opportunities it will bring. Fueled with greater wisdom for the next opportunity in life you are set up for greater success. I know that we all would like to do things perfectly all of the time (or at least I would) but we all have to walk through the process of transformation, let go of control of outcomes and learn to live a lot more by faith and submit to the process. Take chances not because you know you will succeed but because of the opportunities it will produce.
Living life with the expectation of opportunities no matter the outcome is a much more exciting way to live life. Life becomes an adventure! This is when you tell your shrink how your life didn’t work out how you expected but what you mean is the opportunities you have now are even better than you expected. Choose your meaning. Be an optimist.
Below is one of my favorite songs I want to share with you if you find yourself trying to believe again. I have sung this at the top of my lungs more than once.