Off Course

One of the most exciting parts of life is planning. Having dreams and figuring out how to make them happen. We visualise the outcome, and work out the steps we need to take, the details, the logistics. Then we take those steps, one at a time. We live out our plan. There is a lot more security in a direct plan of action. And in life we like to know where we stand. Most importantly it gives us hope. Hope that we can reach our full potential, be successful, simply be better.

You never know if you’ll succeed at anything until you take a risk. You might jump off a rock and land on both feet. You might jump off a rock and break your foot. You might never land. We can plan for every eventuality and still get knocked off course. You can’t predict how you’ll react to a new situation, or how you’ll interpret a new experience. But what’s worse? Trying and never reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, or never trying because the light at the end of the tunnel could be a train?

You might regret the things you never do, and the opportunities you never took. But what if there is deeper regret in taking an opportunity that doesn’t play out how you hoped, then allowing yourself to stay stuck because you don’t want to admit that it might not be the right thing?

Sometimes it takes more strength to admit something isn’t working, than to continue fighting an endless fight that you clearly won’t win. Whether it’s an external battle or an internal battle, it takes strength to walk away knowing you’ll have to start again. It takes even more strength to let something that means so much to you go. It might be painful as f***, but if it’s breaking you down, it really is time to let it go.

It isn’t worth staying stuck in a place that doesn’t allow you to thrive. We all have to find a way to survive, especially when we go through difficult times, but we don’t have to accept that that is it. That doesn’t have to be your life if you don’t want it to be. You always have a choice. Every day is made up of choices, some as simple as what you might want to eat for breakfast, and others as extreme as deciding to move to another country. But you’ll never be short of opportunities if you let yourself be open to what might come along.

Don’t worry about what other people might think about your choices. Ignore any judgements. Believe it or not, most people don’t care about what you’re doing because they are too busy figuring out their own lives and fighting their own battles. You never know what people are going through. Have compassion for the person who shoves you on the street. In that moment, life might be breaking their heart.

Life might have broken your heart, because every choice, whether your own or someone else’s, has a consequence. It’s important to feel however you need to feel, but sometimes it helps to step outside yourself. I was told to remember to stop and smell the flowers every day. I’ll interpret that as stop and smell the gym floor (smells like rubber, nothing weird) every time I lie down with my legs splayed in various directions. The point is, just appreciate every moment for what it is, and let go of what you wanted it to be. Way easier said than done and I forget this all the time, but realising it is a good start.

“It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better.” – A quote from somewhere on Facebook.

And whatever happens in life, don’t let your light go out.

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