Published in Oct 2019 / Updated in Oct 2021
People often ask, "where do you see yourself in five years?" What answer can you give to this common question?
Some respond with a blank stare because they don't even have an idea what will occupy them in the coming few days. But others can give you a list of all the things they intend to be doing five to ten years later and even give you dates.
The point is, people are different.
While some might like to plan out every aspect of their lives, others live in the moment and let nature take its course.
Without a plan, some people feel completely lost and purposeless, which is why they plan out their lives so meticulously. Having a plan takes the edge off and gives such people peace of mind as they go about their lives.
I know this because I was like that once. I carried a planner with me wherever I went. Writing things down and crossing them off the list gave me a sense of purpose.
And then a lot of unexpected things happened at once and the plan was rendered pointless.
Change always catches me off-guard, or at least it did. I was used to making plans and doing all I can to ensure they went the way I wanted them to.
Then I took a step back and looked at everything. Sure, a lot had happened that I did not plan on doing or experiencing. But also, I started to realize that things had worked out for the best.
I always believed life was what you made it. So, it was a little hard to accept that a big part of life is beyond your control. Good and bad things happen, whether we like it or not.
Regardless of how much you plan on having a great life and how many resources you invest, there will still be things you cannot control.
Sure, sometimes everything seems to be against you. But there are also times when miraculously good things seem to happen all around you. I am convinced that without the bad times, such good times would not make too much sense to us.
However detailed our plans are, the unexpected still happens regularly.
The solution, I have discovered, is acceptance.
We can't control everything, period.
And when you come to think of it, a lot of things you didn't expect happened in your life and changed it for the better.
That is why I believe the greatest ability in this life is the ability to adapt and move on.
Control is just an illusion and a recipe for stress considering that things are inherently bound to get out of hand and there is often not a damn thing you can do about it.
Imagine where you would be if you were living your dream life. How many people can honestly say they live the lives they fantasized about?
I'll admit, I don't live the life I wanted. Otherwise, I would be in one of the make-believe worlds you only see in films.
And yet, I am truly grateful for the far I have come. I am proud of where I am, and I appreciate many things I have been through, both good and bad.
I know it sucks not to end up with the person you thought you would spend all your life with, and I know it does not feel good to fall short of the dream job you always had in mind.
But I do strongly believe everything happens for a reason.
And I am pretty sure that by looking back at your life, you can see a lot of examples of things that did not go as you planned and yet led to things that make you happy with how your life has turned out today.
Over time, you have met great people, had wonderful experiences, learned a lot, and even known yourself better than you ever did when you had all those fantasies about the future.
So, trust more in the power of the universe as it guides you through life. The journey may be bumpy at times, but the experience will be worth it because, ultimately, everything happens for a reason.