Life works in mysterious ways. My middle daughter recently turned 20. On the day of her birthday, I drove her to the airport. She was heading to Indianapolis for a national meeting of her sorority. In the car, we had a discussion about life. She was lamenting that she felt behind, things weren’t happening fast enough. She was 20, didn’t have an internship, no car and no summer job. I just smiled and thought about how many times in my life, I felt that what was in front of me was a wall, when it was really a door.
Three days later, I picked her up and brought her home. She was greeted with a message about an internship for the fall, and an email about a summer job. Parked in the garage was her 20th birthday present, used of course. Like I mentioned, life works in mysterious ways.
I thought later about how her situation changed so rapidly and I wanted to offer my daughter some insight as to why. While, I can’t explain the unexplainable, I do know that you can influence the way things manifest.
Here is what I shared:
You can’t control the speed, but you can control the activity.
Life happens at its own pace. No matter how we may try to control the tempo, or schedule the achievement of our milestones, we cannot. Yet, we try in vain only to be met with frustration. What we can control is our activity. We can make the needed steps to stack the deck in our favor. Little steps towards an objective can aggregate. When enough of those steps accumulate, the scale is tilted in our direction. The desired outcome does not always materialize, but you can certainly increase the odds. Too many times, people wait and just hope or expect. Take steps to move towards your goal and influence the outcome.
"Life happens at its own pace. No matter how we may try to control the tempo, or schedule the achievement of our milestones, we cannot".
Knowing your purpose and having a vision matters and so does your intention. Life is a collaborative process and success never happens without others. Don’t be driven only by your own needs. That is a narrow existence. You should always strive to do “good” and not cause harm. Help people without an expectation of reciprocity. Never bend or abandon what you value in pursuit of your goal. Don’t sacrifice a relationship, break a promise or destroy trust. Remember that you are the gatekeeper of your own integrity. Your intention should be to make life better, not just your life.
The way you react determines the outcome
Disappointment will be an unwelcome visitor. No one is immune to its presence. When it does come knocking, don’t be defeated, hang your head or retreat. See it as an opportunity to review, pivot and move forward. You will fail and people will fail you. Life is not always fair. Learn from your setbacks and draw strength from their lessons. Don’t ruminate about the past, or grasp at the future, just focus on the now. That is where opportunity lies. You cannot script what this moment offers, but you can determine how you react to whatever it’s presenting.
Life is mysterious and my last bit of caution is, rather than trying to understand the nature of life, just be open to it, let it in and live it fully. I would ask this community of readers to lend their wisdom as to what other lessons are inherent in the unexplainable patterns of life? Please share your comments below.
A person or business that is nimble and can adjust to life’s mysteries is better positioned for growth. To learn more about ways you can be more prepared to grow, click on the button below.
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