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“If you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention.” – Conan O’Brien
We always strive for direction. We want life to progress in a linear fashion, to get exactly what we want when we want it. We make goals for ourselves and expect to achieve them. But life is FAR from linear. More often than not, life throws us curve-balls instead, takes us off track, causes us to take detours into the unknown that we never planned. The result? Disorientation, discomfort, and disappointment.
THIS VIDEO. Conan O’Brien gives some valuable pieces of wisdom on how to deal with disappointment. For the REALLY good stuff, watch from 16:15 onwards. =) Trust me, you won’t regret it (hey, it’s Conan O’Brien). If the link below doesn’t work, click here.
As Conan pointed out, disappointment is inevitable. Life is unpredictable. Things that will happen that we can’t foresee, sometimes throwing us off course. But that’s the point: maybe life isn’t meant to be lived with so much rigidity.
A priest from my parish once said: “How can you dream if there’s no confusion? When you’re always following a straight path, how can you leave God room to work?” — Sometimes God’s route is the messy route. The one that curves and winds in the most unexpected places, seemingly in a plateau at one point, then steep the next. Sometimes his route is the detour, the unexpected place we never meant to go.
Our tendency is to resist. Yet resisting makes us feel like hamsters: running and running and running in circles on a wheel, thinking we’re getting somewhere, but winding up exactly where we began. Maybe sometimes we just need to surrender, to let ourselves float like logs, letting the river’s current take us where we need to go. As my yoga instructor said, while telling us to release our thoughts and remain in the present moment: “Don’t resist. Just let go.” There is a difference.
It’s necessary to make plans for our lives. It’s necessary to have some sort of direction. But we need to remember that life isn’t linear; it’s fluid. And that’s scary as heck, because it’s unpredictable! But sometimes we’ve just gotta be flexible, gotta bend along with life’s ebbs and flows, to be like water: always finding a way to trickle through the tiniest cracks, to find new directions, regardless of the roadblocks in our way.
So whether you’re struggling to make a plan for your lives but can’t get one right, or if you’ve already made plans but are afraid of the future’s ambiguity and of the possibility of failure, just believe that somehow everything is going to be alright.
“Faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: that there will be something solid to stand on, or that you will be taught how to fly.” – Patrick Overton
“Through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.” – Conan O’Brien
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