“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” -Denis Waitley
The other day I was watching reruns of a show I’ve recently found and now love. In one scene, the main character talked about the “perfect moment” that never came to be—an isolated point in time when things would have worked exactly as he imagined they would, and as a result, there would only be positive consequences to his choices.
This got me thinking about my own instinct to create perfect moments according to what I’ve visualized—and also the times when I’ve been part of other people’s plans.
In high school, I reconnected with an old friend from junior high, who’d also been bullied back then. I was going through a lot emotionally and wasn’t in a place to date him. He told me he was disappointed because he “wanted me for his senior year.”
He had a specific vision of me being the one on his arm at the prom. It wasn’t just about being with me; it was about being with me in a very specific way.
I’ve done the exact same thing at times. I know I want to have children—but in an ideal world, I’d have them in the next two years, and I’d have created a situation that allows me to spend equal time on the east and west coasts, to be close to family in both places. I realize, however, that in two years time, I may not have created those conditions.
Life doesn’t always work out in the way we imagine would be ideal. We can either resist that, feeling crushed when we don’t get exactly what we wanted, or accept reality at every step of the way and adapt to make the best of what we get.
We’re often advised to visualize the future in specific detail so that we may create it; to see in our heads the environment, the people, and the situations we want to manifest. This can be a powerful exercise because it helps us get clear about what we really want.
It will be a far more effective practice, though, if we remember that what we really want isn’t the perfect moment—it’s happiness from moment to moment. That comes from choosing to embrace and work with what is, instead of bemoaning and fighting it.
Photo by magical-world