One thing I have learned is that life will happen the way it is going to happen whether we like it or not. Oh, we do sit in the driver’s seat, we command the accelerator, turning right, turning left, and we have the power to brake. But still, life is going to happen whether we like it or not. And sometimes we need to sort of sit back and watch how it shapes up and plays out.
Now this is counterintuitive to human nature. At least to most of us humans. We prefer to be in control, make choices, and choose our own paths. The funny thing that I have noticed though, is that we do exactly that, and then life continues to happen the way it is going to happen anyway.
Here’s an example. A young man has three dreams; to get a job, to own a home, and to have a girlfriend. He learns a trade and gets a job. He goes to work, saves his money, and buys a home. He meets a woman, brings her home, and has a girlfriend. The young man made those choices, he was in command, he chose some paths. But then there isn’t much work because the economy goes sour and worries begin to set in. His girlfriend gets a job but now that they are both working they are like two ships passing in the night. And his home, so full of promise, becomes an albatross around his neck. There are too many projects, too little money and very little time. Things look bleak, right?
Life had its way of happening whether it was what the young man chose or not.
The interesting thing is what happens next. Because no matter what life decides to throw at us, there are still our choices. But now they are based on what life has thrown at us rather than the plan we thought we had made. And whether we like it or not we now need to steer ourselves in a different direction, apply those brakes here and there and perhaps even put the pedal to the metal. And if we sit back once in a while and observe what life is doing with us, we can make some pretty good new decisions, decisions that will again put us on a path that we control.
So what about our young man? Well he finds a partner and begins a small business to see him through the tough times. He and his girlfriend begin to set aside time for each other, ‘date nights’ if you like. And the house is still his house, even if he can’t move forward on his big projects. Times will improve, life hands us that as well.
All in all, the choices we make really do keep us moving along this path called life. We just need to keep our eyes open for the possibilities waiting around the next bend.