How many of you believe that life happens to you and not much of what you do can change your life? We are simply a character in the story with no control over the plot. As children, we are wild and free. Like a sponge, we soak up knowledge through learning and observation. There’s nothing we cannot and will not do. Embarrassment, fear, and inadequacy have yet to enter and wreck our lives.
Ask a child what she wants to be when she grows up, and she will answer based on her desires and ambitions — not practicality.
I remember my mom asking my little sister what she wanted to be when she was grown, and she confidently said, “A zookeeper ballerina!” In her mind, she wanted to help animals but also loved dancing — this answer was easy and obvious to her.
So when does the switch happen that causes us to start limiting ourselves? We get caught in the clutch of reality and believe our life is defined by our circumstances rather than our thoughts or the control we have over our actions.
For the most part, kids think positively. That is why they are happy, carefree, and bounce back quickly. Then life hits us hard, and we grow into adults who are cautious and self-protective at nature. Not because of a future that is doomed, but because of a past that we believe defines how we must live in the present — giving us a future that looks the same.
We only know what we know. Think about it, if we are asked to sing a song related to something we love, a much larger percentage would choose to sing a song that we already know rather than quickly write a new song. If we are told to go somewhere we have gone time and time again, we will follow the same directions instead of forging a new path. We like familiarity and the idea of creating something new is scary.
That is why so many of us allow life to happen to us. We would rather sit back and go through the motions that may be hard and painful, but they are comfortable. We would rather complain about our jobs than to adopt a perspective of positivity and gratitude. Better yet, we would rather dread going to work each day than to take the risk of being unemployed for a short period while we figure out how we want the next chapter to look.
As a mom, it’s easier for me to put my life on hold and mourn over all the things I can’t do with young kids rather than get creative and resourceful with weaving together my dreams and motherhood. But that’s not what I want for myself. I want to live the best version of my life, and that sometimes takes struggling through the hard parts.
If you are experiencing joy, embrace it. But if you are stuck and at the mercy of your circumstances, know that only you have the power to change. Whether it be your actions or your thoughts, do what you need to do for joy.
I would love for you to ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I living my life the way I choose, or am I letting life happen to me?
2. How much control do I allow myself to have over my life?
3. What do I need to do or change to gain a healthy control?
4. What creative and resourceful decision can I make to increase my life’s enjoyment?
You are not trapped. Grow a happier, more fulfilling life for yourself!