If you had met me 3 years ago within 15 minutes you would know my twenty year plan and how I intended to get there. I had goals, ambitions, dreams and DRIVE. Nothing and no one was going to get in the way of MY plan. But there was a problem– life happens and when all your eggs are in one basket… Remember what I said about investing more than you’re willing to lose?
When life happened despite my planning, I was forced to learn a lesson that I’m now grateful for. I realized that I can be flexible in my approach without compromising my goals. Flexibility in our journey and the ability to adapt to changes enhances our ability to reach our goals –when we work with life, life not only works with us, but it works for us.
According to my plan, I would have been completing my law degree at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia (you don’t need an undergraduate degreee to start a law degree there). I would probably be working as a ‘check-out-chick’ at target, or as a barista at Gloria Jeans. I would have met a boy, a colleague or a classmate, maybe we’d even be engaged to marry upon completion of our degrees. Maybe. I would be well on my way into making my dream life my reality.
But like I said, life happened. Instead of Australia, I’m in Abbotsford. Let me tell you what happened when I embraced what life was giving me…
I got a job working with the city, it’s a job I love and it means working with people who encourange and inspire me to be a better version of myself every day. I was part of creating the first and only student philosophical counselling association and currently, the only functioning association in Canada. I was able to start a philsophical counselling practice of my own under the direction of Canada’s LEADING and internationally reknowned philosphical counsellor. I was asked to present a paper to a crowd of entrepreneurs and academics at an international conference because of my relationship with the South Asian Peer Network Association on campus. The Dean of Graduate Studies was at the conference I presented at and he asked me to speak at an awards ceremony as a ‘motivational student speaker’ — I got paid to do it, too! That’s where I met and mingled with the Academic VP, who then recommended I be part of the committee that met the minister of Advanced Education on her visit to the university. And the list goes on, really… looking back at how bitter, resentful and angry I was with life for having repaid my efforts and sacrifices with disappointment, thinking life as I knew it was over, my dream had fallen apart and I was going along with it, makes me shake my head. Seems foolish, right? That’s why it’s called the wisdom of hindsight.
So I’m not in Australia, I can always go later …maybe I didn’t finish my law degree first, I can do it later …maybe I didn’t meet a boy, I’ll meet a man later … See, I didn’t realize my dream life, but I’m realizing that this life, the one I have right now, in this present moment, is better than any life I could have dreamt of…
Understand that our success rate in life is directly proportionate to (1) our ability to, and (2) our attitude towards, change.