This Is the Trick a Taoist Priest Uses to Stay Positive
This seems to be a week of faith. Richard told me of a major business presentation he was involved with over the weekend, and nothing seemed to be going right the day before the presentation. The technology wasn’t working, the weather wasn’t permitting… All he could do was have faith that it would work out. And it did, at just the last moment! Life is strange and wonderful when things work out just when they need to. And having faith during the process—that things will work out—makes the entire scenario manageable, less stressed, and more enjoyable than without that faith. Such an important muscle to exercise.
But what happens when they don’t “work out”? James hears Richard’s story and tells us of a venture he’s involved with. Everything seemed to be going right and they were heading towards a funding deal, but just at the last minute, his partner pulled out and the vision of the endeavor seemed to crumble in an instant. James’ situation seems like the exact opposite of Richard’s. James had faith, but then it didn’t work out… What good was it?
I suggested that the question we ask is not: “What happens when things don’t work out?” Rather, we should be asking: What does working out really mean? I think what working out means to most men, like James, is working in the way he WANTS things to go. Well sure, who wouldn’t want things to go just the way they’d like? But just because the process and the path don’t end up shaking out the way you envision or desire or hope, doesn’t mean things aren’t actually “working out.” So again, what does working out TRULY mean and what does it have to do with faith?
If we could step back to a larger view—to a bigger picture perspective—and look at James’ life 20 years from now, we might find our answer. He can’t see now that losing the partner he thought would be pivotal to his venture will, in 6 months’ time, open the door to a new partner who wouldn’t have been available if the old one stayed. He can’t know that 2 years after that, this new partner would help grow the company in a direction that would lead to an amazing trajectory of financial and personal experiences, and that some of those particular experiences would lead James to meet his wife. He doesn’t yet see that 3 years after meeting his wife, they would have a son, who would learn an immense amount of particular lessons from James who only learned those lessons from the particular experiences and relationships afforded by the venture and the partner exactly as it all played out. He cannot see any of this because today James is stuck in his narrow view, in how the situation didn’t exactly fit into his “plan.” So he judges the whole situation as negative or “not working out,” when really it is all working out exactly as it must, exactly as James 20 years from now will so much appreciate. That future James will have wanted his life to go absolutely no other way.
So what current situation are you viewing too narrowly? What scenario, venture, relationship, etc. are you judging as being “wrong” or “negative” or “not working out”? Can you have faith that things are indeed working out exactly as they should, as they must, as they’re meant to? Can you be the man or woman 20 years from now looking back at this moment and appreciating exactly what happened, even if the narrow-minded, current you can’t see it? Because without this going exactly as it is, you would not have all the amazing experiences and paths and relationships that will come as a result.
It’s all working to plan… Maybe not your plan. Maybe not the way you envision it. But have a little faith in the great forces that are. One day, you’ll understand and hopefully you will be grateful for everything that is happening just as it is.