“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” ~Unknown
Life is full of curve balls that are bound to come up and mess up our best laid plans. It’s a part of life that cannot be stopped from happening. Unexpectedly loved ones pass away, family members fall ill, injuries occur, vehicles break down, jobs get lost, things go sideways, pandemics break out…there are all kinds of unexpected things that come up and force us to modify our plans, so when they do we have to make sure we don’t allow ourselves to let those feelings of disappointment, frustration, and stress to overtake us. Because the moment we do we have pretty much ensured that we whatever the new plan is will be a miserable experience for us and likely those around us as well.
In my younger years I’d allow unexpected things to get me down. I’d get frustrated and stressed out because in my mind all I could think of was how my perfectly laid plans had gotten disrupted and how no new plan in its place was ever going to be able to be quite as good as that first one would have been. I would go into the revised plan with the attitude that it was bound to turn out worse. And with that as my attitude and outlook on what lay ahead I’d pretty much guarantee the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy because for everything that happened I was viewing it through the lens of thinking it wouldn’t be as good.
Many years of life experience finally taught me that even though I cannot control plans going sideways I always have 100% control on the lens through which I choose to view things. We can decide that rather than focusing on what “could have been” and thinking a new plan won’t be as good as the first, we can instead choose to believe that this change in plan is actually going to turn out a million times better for us in the end. We can choose to recognize that God knows everything so perhaps He knew our original plan was problematic and He’s trying to steer us in a different direction to protect us from future trouble. And we can have faith that whatever the new plan is it is will turn out better than anything we could have imagined ourselves with the limited view we have of what’s possible.
Our job is to set goals, make plans, and then work to achieve them. And when things go sideways and disappointments come up (because they always do)- we choose to trust. Trust that whatever will happens next is going to be a million times better than anything we could have planned. After all, God is much better at this than we are 😉
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )