Let Life Determine “What,” “When,” And “How” Things Come Into Our Lives

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted, but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.” ~ Garrison Keillor….

There are a lot of things that we will want in life that, quite frankly, we do not need–at least not at that specific moment in our lives or in that specific capacity. Most of us can remember a time in which we really wanted something–a certain relationship, a specific job promotion, that newest or latest gadget, or some other thing–and we did everything within our power to try to make it happen or to acquire it, but failed to do so. At the time, it was probably quite devastating–in our shortsightedness, we failed to see the big picture or anything good that could come from it. But in retrospect, it is much easier for us to begin to see that our failure to get what we had previously wanted was a good thing, and that what we actually managed to get instead definitely was just what we needed in our lives and in the lives of those we care about.

As with much of life, getting what we want has a lot to do with attitude and perspective. If we base any level of our happiness on getting what we want, if we do not get it, we will be unhappy. However, if we look for the silver lining in not getting what we want, we can begin to accept the happiness that is already abundant around us and in our lives. Perhaps a more healthy perspective is to look at not getting what we want as “lucky,” for if we get what we think we want there may be no space available in our lives for what we truly desire or even need. Maybe I have my heart set on buying a particular luxury car to add to my current exotic fleet; but buying it now means I may miss out on getting something better or cheaper a few months from now. In addition, buying it now may mean that I no longer have the funds available to handle any of unknown financial needs that I will face in the very near future–perhaps a new business deal or an investment window, or maybe unexpected huge bills may arise for my immediate and extended family.

It often seems that our wants come from outside us–our friends, family, coworkers, celebrities, advertisers, marketers–instead of from within. Much of what we desire is actually a result of something that someone else brought to our attention. And since this feeling of want or need is foreign to us, it generally serves us very little value pursuing the fulfillment of it. In truth, if we can instead place our trust in life, then we can begin to let go of many of the unhealthy and unnecessary wants and needs in our life, and instead let life take care of us and bring to our lives exactly what we need for growth and fulfillment.

Life knows what is best for us, and to a greater degree, what is necessary for us. And if we let life determine “what,” “when,” and “how” things come into our lives, and respond to them in healthy ways, we will find that our lives have become much richer and much more fulfilling.

Try to uncover some good things that have recently come from not getting something that you wanted–or felt you needed–at the time.

Questions to consider:

Why do we often feel the responsibility or need to define and seek the many elements of our lives?

What happens when we leave no more room in our lives for the things that are best for us? Will they ever be able to enter into our lives while we do so?

Why do we tend to correlate failure with not getting something that we want, not making something work as we feel it should, or not achieving what we had set out to achieve, even if we have given it our best shot?

For further thought:

“Life is good and is always trying to do us a good turn if we will only allow it to do so.” ~ Henry Thomas Hamblin



Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

2 responses to “Let Life Determine “What,” “When,” And “How” Things Come Into Our Lives

  1. Phoebe

    Very enlightening! Thank you so much for sharing your recognitions, Dr Ejaife!

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