Your path through life will rise and fall despite your best efforts. If we’re wise and focused we can certainly choose the path we would prefer, but there is no way around the fact that everyone will have to climb some very steep hills as they move forward. And by forward I don’t mean toward some destination. I just mean: in motion.
The point of life is to be alive. You would be surprised at how few people ever are once they’re in adulthood. Most are blindly on a path without ever really asking why. Most never do any kind of assessment of its value. This means that they’re inclined to think they’re failing when they’re in pain, and that they’re succeeding when they’re not. But there is no success or failure because each is dependent on the other, and everyone will experience both. So rather than fighting that idea, we are better to accept it, because the failures we experience today have little to do with what will happen tomorrow.
The truth is, no one knows where you are in your life. You could be just about to meet the love of your life, or you could be driving home to a divorce, or maybe even your own death. So don’t assume that if things are bad that they will stay that way, or that you will have to do anything other than wait. Life will change even if you don’t.If you’re at a low point in life as you’re reading this; if you’ve failed to accomplish some goal, or if you’ve lost some love, or you otherwise feel alone and defeated; remember what excellent company you are in. All of humanity has been there. DaVinci, Mozart, Shakespeare. Everyone’s been afraid, or challenged to the point of tears. Everyone has questioned their value at times. But the important thing is, once that is done, we must simply return to our passions. Because there is no success or failure. There is simply doing or not-doing.
If you’re feeling low, don’t worry because everything changes. And if you’re feeling up, then enjoy it because everything changes. So up or down, careful or not, you were going to fall down some holes. Just don’t take them too seriously. Handled with wisdom, they can become passages to deeper understanding and capability.
Remember, don’t have your mood affect your judgment, have your judgment affect your mood. Choose your thoughts carefully, and when you’re in a mode of suffering, then just know that it is both inevitable and temporary. More opportunities will arise. But you will not see them if you’re not watching for them. So even when you’re feeling low, keep an eye out for anything positive. Because enormous success can follow shortly after crushing failure. If you don’t believe me, ask these folks:
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.