“For a long time it seemed to me that real life was about to begin, but there was always some obstacle in the way. Something had to be got through first, some unfinished business; time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
— Bette Howland
We spend most of our lives in Plan B (or Plan C, D, or E), so get used to it!
There is no “start” to life, there is no waiting for the parade to begin; it began the moment you were born. So live every moment fully, robustly, energetically, with verve, and passion, and juice. Be fully in the moment, be fully present for all the moments of your life. Nothing is more precious.
Things rarely turn out exactly as we planned. Life, fate, difficulties, unforeseen and often random events intervene to send us spinning off our intended course. For those among us who are control freaks, who have very definite ideas about how things should be, it can be frustrating, even unsettling.
That’s okay. Much of success in life is rolling with the punches, yet still staying firmly fixed upon our ultimate goals, even as we remain flexible about how we will achieve them. Nothing is sadder than the individual who wastes his moments bemoaning the cruelty of life, cataloging for all who will listen the unfairness of the obstacles that blocked his path, that stifled his supposed greatness from fruition. When one door closes, another always opens; if we will but find it in ourselves to explore the unexpected, we will frequently find fascinating opportunity.
I often think of myself as a glider or a sail boat: I cannot control the winds of life but I can set my sails or use my wings to the greatest possible advantage to soar in the direction I wish to go and not just be blown about willy nilly. Of course, the greater the skill set, the greater the ability to determine one’s own course! One can spend a lifetime attempting to master the ways of the sea or learning how best to ride the winds.
Often of stumbling blocks can stepping stones be hewed. Be flexible, be adaptable, be open. Relax and look for ways to ride the flow. Life turns at best for those who make the best of how life turns out.
Is there some area in your life where greater long-term progress could be made with more flexibility? Are there areas were you are facing a headwind, where you would be better off tacking? Are there any areas where you are waiting (perhaps like Godot?) for life to begin? Do you really want to continue waiting?