30 Oct The Door Doesn’t Open Itself
THE DOOR DOESN’T OPEN ITSELF
You know it’s true! There is so much in life that is out of your control. At times that can be overwhelming! You can’t start the car and you are on the verge of being late for an important meeting. Or a storm blows in a half hour before the huge outdoor celebration you planned for months. Somehow life doesn’t go by your timetable. At times it seems like a conspiracy is afoot to “undo” you.
Who’s in charge?
Can we find a way to even begin to contend with the onslaught of stuff? Stuff that inevitably seems to seep into your life with uncanny persistence! For most of us we live life believing, at least in our early years, that we are “Masters of our fate”. At seven or eight years old you would not have put it that way. But unless life had knocked it out of you, you felt like you are sort of the king (or queen) of your life. (A lot of that sense is bound up culturally. I can only speak for myself, but I believe that sense of autonomy is hard-wired. It has to be taken out by life’s bumps and bruises to get rid of it.) And far too often, life sends the bumps!
How DOES that happen?
You have asked yourself that question probably as many times as I have asked myself! A different answer pops out each time. Circumstances are always different, but like the colors in a well-designed house, the theme persists, a continuity that we can pick up on if we are aware.
Small differences matter!
When things do not go as we had expected they would, it is different than when things don’t go as we had hoped they would. It may be a subtle difference, but small differences matter. Flying a plane from San Francisco to LAX, if you are off by 1 degree you will miss LAX by SIX MILES! Landing six miles out in the ocean would be truly disconcerting! Is it six miles from dissatisfied to disheartened, from “oh well” to “OH NO!”?
Unmet expectations color future expectations
When our expectations are not met or are shattered, the effect can be hard on us. If we find our expectations are consistently unmet, or routinely shattered, we tend to allow that to color our future expectations. What we expect out of the future is molded by what we have gotten from the past. Often we have no real basis for an expectation apart from it being a deeply desired outcome. The high school freshman who asks a girl he just met to go to the fall dance because he would like to have her go with him may be a good example. Or maybe not!
Unmet expectations color future actions
As long as he doesn’t have history of being turned down time after time and has a pretty good sense of self, he will probably expect to get an affirmative answer. The more turn-downs he has had and the less sure of himself he is, the less expectant he is of a “yes”. If he has a long history of “no’s” and feels fairly insecure, the less and less likely he is to expect a “yes”, and the more likely he is to move beyond thinking about asking her to the dance and simply gulp as she approaches, and go on to class, foregoing the dance entirely.
YOU need to take action!
Either way, the only way he will find out is to ask! Regardless of your expectations, each new experience is, well, new! If you find a door that is not open and you want to go through, understand that in most cases a door will not open by itself! If you want to go through, you need to take action! Don’t allow your past to dictate your future, manage your expectations and open the door. You can only move to the Next Level by taking action!