A couple weeks ago I was working to make some updates to my website. I had it all planned out, had envisioned exactly how I wanted it to function and what I wanted it to look like. And so, armed with plug-ins and templates and instructional videos, I dove in.
Many frustrating hours later, I conceded my defeat. Website: 1; Sandy: 0. Given my greenhorn status, there were just some things I wasn’t willing to do to get the results I wanted. Like manipulate code or start all over with a different theme.
But rather than throw in the towel completely, I wondered if I just needed to revise my expectations. I had successfully made the changes I wanted to make without upsetting the functionality or sacrificing the simplistic styling of my current theme, which were two of the things I liked most when I initially chose it.
Did my updates match my vision? No. But in asking myself if they absolutely needed to, I realized the answer was also no.
I find this to be true in life as well. That sometimes we can be so focused on forcing ourselves and our lives to fit into certain shapes, bending and stretching and twisting in order to match or exceed expectations—ours or someone else’s—that we are often either perpetually striving or constantly disappointed.
Sure, it’s good to have plans and dreams and expectations, but we aren’t fortunetellers. We can’t predict and plan for every contingency any more than we can manipulate every situation and variable to mirror our best-case scenario. And we wouldn’t want to.
In my experience, it is in the moments when we don’t get exactly what we want that create the most growth and wisdom. And sometimes a disappointment in the present leads to an unexpected opportunity in the future. We just need to be open to it. To stop trying to pick the lock on the door that has closed behind us and instead walk through the one that has opened in front of us.
Is there anything going on in your life right now that has required you to modify your mindset or adapt your expectations?