Friday, June 19, 2009

Wrought Wisdom 6/19/09

Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.

Denis Waitley
"What if...?" "It'll never happen." "Never say never."

How well do we really know what we're doing? An idea comes, followed by a desire, then usually by some impatient action and, if we're lucky, some satisfying result. But what if it doesn't? What went wrong?

If we are intelligently patient we will carefully plan for the desired outcome. If we are willfully impatient who knows what the result will be. Part of careful planning is to take into consideration what might go wrong and therefore to compensate for it ahead of time.

My mother taught me to drive and one thing she told me has stayed with me my whole life, not just about driving, but about many things. She said "Always assume the other driver is going to do something foolish." That tactic has saved me from many accidents I might have gotten into. It doesn't mean the other driver is a fool, it merely means that under the circumstances the driver made a decision to do something I didn't expect. I explained that to someone one day and she thought it was one of the stupidest things she had heard. But I will be willing to bet if more people were alert to the unexpected turn or stop there would be a lot less road rage.

I was watching the NASA channel one day and they were talking about those sessions where one department would get together and bring up every possible thing that could go wrong and then make arrangements to prevent it or prepare for it. When you consider how vast, complicated and dangerous the space program is there must be an untold number of things that could mess up. If they didn't poke their noses into every connection, every bolt and wire, things would not go as smoothly as they do.

There are usually surprises built into every venture, things we don't expect no matter how much trouble shooting we do. I am still learning how to not get frantic when those things happen. Sometimes there are detours we have to make. There are a lot of detours in life. We might as well enjoy the surprising scenery while we keep a look out for the turn that takes us back the way we want to go.

We should expect the best from ourselves, not sell ourselves for anything less than the best we can do and be. We should recognize it when the lines of life are not going right and are not allowing us to fulfill ourselves, are limiting us and putting pot holes in the way of success and joy. And we should avoid making assumptions about who we are and where we're going to be at any destination we have planned for ourselves.

Is your life a roadmap? Well, whether you're planning to fly to the moon or begin a love affair (and there are similarities) study it carefully, watch out for the pot holes and send me a post card when you get there.

You're alive, thank goodness.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Expectations - I always assume that others are going to keep their best interest in mind, and do something that seems silly to me, whether driving or something else. Good advice :o)

Ally Lifewithally said...

Your Mother is a very wise woman ~ she certainly gave you some good advice ~ Ally x

Cathy said...

What a timely post DB. Your Mom was right, even though 99% of the time WE'RE the "other guy" and not immune to acting the fool lol. But it's true, if you're prepared for the worst you can afford to hope for the best - and expect it. "Look for the good, search for the truth, hope for the best." I wonder, do other animals have expectations in their lives as we do? I'd say that if we used instinct more, we wouldn't hurt each other so much. As usual, you offer fodder for thought.

Judith Ellis said...

Thanks for the post, DB. To all of this I would say follow your heart and seek to do what is right.