Real Life versus Planned Life

Credit: Bob Carroll.

When we are young many of us have grand expectations about our futures. Our dreams, high hopes and ideals are what often energizes us to achieve remarkable and challenging goals. As we begin to age, sometimes it is these earlier visions that keep us afloat in a sea of boredom, routine or troubled times. It is good that nature has this way with us and gets us, for the majority, on a track of responsibility.

They say life can only be boring to boring people. I’m not sure that is correct. Life can become a real struggle for normal hard working people. We can all get caught in the grooves of life as we manage our many responsibilities. That does not mean we are boring people. It may be because we have not stepped into a new way of thinking, or have fallen into an old thinking pattern, those old grooves we have lived with so long. The new grooves are what make life exciting, challenging, and bring greater enjoyment and fulfillment.

One of my key life mentors, Bob Carroll, once told a short story of how he was trying hard to capture a certain sunrise. Along with being a shutterbug, Bob is a real modern day sage. Just as he was about to capture the shot, one he felt was perfectly timed, a person jogging on the beach invaded the scene and jumped up into the lifeguard chair. His initial response was one of loss and regret. However, moments later, the jogger dramatically reached up to the sky, symbolizing our human desire to be one with the universe. Bob then immediately captured that new moment, and it was way better than he had ever imagined or planned. Thank you Bob!

Our mindsets control and guide where we go, what we do, and how we feel. The adage, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” is true. One the newer strategies I have been implementing is this idea of making a new discovery each day. It is remarkably rewarding to think along these lines.

You may not get the weather you hoped for. Your friend may not do what you expect. Your week may shift into a completely unexpected gear. Yet, if you maintain this open mindedness, a discovery mindset, you may find that it turned out much better than you felt possible when you began. Instead, the rain may feel good, you may make a new friend, or that change in your weekly schedule leads you to some new twist that you can find joy in experiencing.

We can and should make a plan about where we want to go, how we want to live, and who we want to help. However, the best laid plans will never be executed precisely how you want them to turn out. And that is actually a good thing. The mentality of wanting to maintain rigid enforcement to a plan runs the risk of losing sight of the new and different elements being uncovered as we proceed through life.

The slogan of my high school, Christoper Columbus, is “Adelante.” The translation is “ahead, in front, forward.” To me, the translation is that we must use our senses to appreciate that each moment can be somewhat, or dramatically, different than what we expected, hoped for, or planned. Yet that is the essence, the beauty, and the dynamism of really living.

Let us all make a new discovery today, whether it be in somewhere we go, something we read, something we think, or someone we help. Only you can control your decision to begin a discovery mindset. So while we can continue to hold to our greatest dreams, goals and objectives, we should not obsess over them to the exclusion of really living. Riding the tide of what nature has to offer. Make the greatest good out of that wave. Perhaps we will create a new groove that suits us even better than what we only knew before we experienced this. Good luck!