I learned at an early age not to expect things and not to assume something was going to go a certain way. I learned that I was setting myself up for disappointment because, and I learned this over time, nothing ever goes as it’s planned or supposed to. In the military it’s called a SNAFU (Situation Normal; All Fucked Up) – everybody else just calls it life. I learned that if I really really wanted something and thought I was getting that cool expensive toy for Christmas, and come morning on Dec 25th it wasn’t under the tree – I was really upset and discouraged. Things hadn’t gone my way and it pissed me off. I felt entitled and cheated and it ruined my day/week/month whatever… bottom line is I neglected to see the good things that happened and the other cool stuff I got and the thought that went into all that stuff from Santa and my parents… I focused on the bad… and I let it destroy me.
This same thing came up but in different circumstances but I, as most people, learn slowly and continued to hit this pitfall along the road of life. Over time I began to realize that if I assumed something was going to happen, and it didn’t, it would screw things up for me on a personal level. So eventually I just stopped expecting things; I stopped assuming certain things were going to happen. Granted I still wanted that stuff to happen, but I got to a point where, if things didn’t go as planned in my head and I didn’t get what I want, it just didn’t matter to me anymore. I didn’t let it destroy me because I started to see the other things outside of the tunnel vision that were good and saw that no matter what I didn’t get, things could be worse. There’s always something worse. As a kid I didn’t get that cool big toy I wanted, but I got like 6 other things that were just as good and meaningful – hell at least I got something, a lot of people don’t. As an adult and in the business world it’s, “I didn’t get that big fun contract I wanted”, but look at it this way – I’m still busy working and there’s other jobs out there and I’m not broke and I can still pay rent and eat… shit just isn’t that bad enough to worry about the one thing you focused on that went away or changed. It could always be worse, remember that.
Having goals is good but don’t let them dominate your reality with tunnel vision. The truth is, there are plenty of things outside of the tunnel that can make you happy. Life changes, plans change, jobs change, people change, the ecosystem changes. The secret is to not be narrow minded and too blindly focused on something that may not be there in your future, or may be altered… the secret is to adapt and overcome and be happy with what you have.
Make your goal happen regardless of what changes because you can see all around and have the ability to adapt and overcome.
These days… I’m very nonchalant, I live day by day with a loose goal set in mind… I have a good idea where I want to go but the path is uncertain and I’m fine with that. I have my own morals and standards which fit fine and well with society but don’t follow any religion or external mindset from my own. I feel very dynamic, almost to a point where I don’t like rigidity in my life because it clashes – it starts to bring back that assumption of “it’ll go a certain way” sort of thing. I’m happy with a free-flowing reality and am willing to address conflict and change as it comes. I know that which does not kill me will make me stronger – and so I thrive. And to quote Nietzsche again “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
I got a little philosophical but for good reason. People complain about dumb shit and they’re never happy no matter if you try and help them or not – the fact is they need to help themselves, you can’t do it for them. When that sort of third party thing begins to affect my life I can’t help but to reject it. And so begins the quest to figure out how to work with that set of circumstances, but only because I choose to.
Also published on Medium.