How to react when the universe blows up your perfectly designed plans.
There is a prayer intended to give faith to people dealing with uncertainty. You’ve heard it: “God give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change…”
Having been dropped in this universe without any understanding of where we came from or where we go after death, it’s easy to forget that we actually deal with “uncertainty” every single day. Life by its very definition is uncertain. Any feeling we may have created of how perfectly designed our plans were, how incredibly diligent we were at taking the right risks, or how well we had covered our bases was simply an illusion. We all do this from time to time – because we hate to think about the fact that very little is under our control. We can’t prevent a piano from falling on our heads or a plane from crashing down, no matter how hard we try.
If the universe has blown up your plans and you find yourself confronting some unexpected turn of events, the following words will return you to your center of wisdom.
When our plans change through no fault of our own, it is a sign that the universe has something better in store.
I have never met a successful person who didn’t have a story about a so-called catastrophe which ended up being a blessing in disguise. Many out there doubt the concept of “everything always happens for a reason”, especially when an unwelcome surprise feels so negative that it brings hopelessness. When circumstances are so dark, the blessing is understandably harder to appreciate, but rest assured: it is always there.
Your plans are not always the best possible outcome.
- Our plans are not always good for us. Sometimes we want things because they are familiar and safe, not because they will make us happy (like a partner we aren’t in love with but keep around for fear of not finding a better one, or a job we stick with because we’re not in the mood to look for a better one). Had our plans worked out we never would have known how wrong we were for protecting what was making us unhappy.
- Our plans are not always realistic. Sometimes we want early success without putting in the work. Had our plans worked out, we wouldn’t have had the strength of character to deal with it (the kind of strength that only comes from repeated failure). Had we succeeded quick, we would not acquire the superhuman creativity that comes to those who refuse to give up after failing repeatedly. This is the superhuman creativity that often gives birth to true innovation and transcendence.
- Our plans are not always our own. Sometimes we hope for the type of recognition that would only push us farther and farther away from the things we truly want (like a promotion in a career field we are actually not interested in, which would bring us more work that we actually don’t want to be doing). Had our plans worked out, we wouldn’t be forced to choose a new path – one that is more closely aligned with our dream career.
- Our plans are not always properly timed. Sometimes we have the perfect plan and the perfect goal, but we insist on setting it in motion before the time is right (like a call to set up a meeting with an investor when our business pitch is not fully developed). Had our plans worked out, we would have allowed our impatience to destroy a major opportunity for our future.
We all have a strange capacity to wish for those things we don’t want. We all know we have a temptation to get the things we want without putting in the work it takes to deserve them. We are all quick to forget the things we want in favor of the things we’ve been told we want. We all move too quickly without setting our ducks in a row.
In all three cases, having our plans change is a huge blessing in disguise.
Adversity has a funny way of making the things we want crystal clear, and the things we don’t fall easily into the background of oblivion. Obstacles always lead us to properly edit, redesign, and perfect our plans.
If you are not one for spiritual thinking, I might point out that logical reasoning would also lead you to the same conclusion:
If your plans have changed and you find yourself grieving a life that was not to be, what is the strategy that would lead you to success faster?
- Not believing that it is for the best, and wasting months or years mourning what might have been.
- Beleiving that it was for the best, and bouncing back immediately to try to figure out how to turn this into the best thing that ever happened to you.
It doesn’t matter if the universe meant this for you or didn’t. If you believe that it did, you are more likely to get something good out of it. Pay attention, figure out why this could be the best thing that ever happened to you, and go out and make it so.
Andrew Gabelic is the CEO & Founder of Teledipity, a free pocket life coach with an eerie ability to send you the right self-improvement content at the right time (based on your personality and life stage). Check out what it says about you!