Nobody wants to admit being common or that we failed.
Ego wants polishing, arguing its uncommon exceptionality.
Best things I’ve ever done began without expectations or detailed plan – children of activities or off-shoot ideas while doing something else entirely, pursuing an opportunity when it showed up or producing one by my own initiative – more failure than success, to be sure, but tons of fun.
I’d substantially forgotten that until recently, unexpectedly recalling how something unexpected changed my path so substantially. Luck might play some role. I cannot discern which approach was best, which choice wisest – history suggests I never have. Is this common? Or rare?
Most things we need or want to do can be postponed, rescheduled, or simply triaged as we measure value and priorities, which are rarely in harmony because they compete for our support and emotional energy – and there is no room for pain or regret in this formula.
Still, most of us find ourselves saddled like a pack-horse carrying far more with us than we deserve.
Everyone who plays a distinct hand plans one life, experiences demonstrably non-identical scenarios, their outcomes, neither as predicted or designed.
I’ve spent time dissecting things that went wrong, examined the entrails of things that went well – asking, “What was the magic?” … seeking to identify common denominators in several successes and every failure. There is only one. I’m that common denominator.
And I can only control me. Self-directed is not the same as self-control, but it sounds better than ‘randomly straying,’ so I’ll stay self-directed for now.
I suspect many people aren’t happy with their consequences, at any age. The older we get, the appreciation of the limitations of how much time we have left becomes a two-headed animal – desire to make a difference vis-à-vis realizing most of our life hasn’t made the kind of difference we wanted to cause …
If we don’t like it, we can curl up and die. Some people will add, “Your gonna die anyway.” … and they would be right. Between now and that inevitable and likely end, the choice is to stuff more life into our lives than anyone ever believed. No need to ask permission or raise an army – just do what you want, aim where you want, taste what you want – the give and take of life is not a spectator sport.