In Admiral William McRaven’s book, “Make Your Bed”, he writes of his fourth lesson in life is that life’s not fair so it is important to drive on. That is a critical lesson for all of us to learn but is one that is often forgotten. Many of us are raised to believe that if we do the right thing, things will turn out the way we want them to. Later, we find that often that belief turns out not to be true. When this happens, it is easy to turn sour on the world and/or on ourselves.
However, there are times today when you sincerely believe you are doing the best you can and are doing everything you can possibly think of . Yet it turns out not to be enough and you fall short. It is then, more than ever, that you must drive forward through it, regardless of how long it takes. I know this can be discouraging if no end seems in sight. It is important to remember that driving forward does not mean necessarily that you do the same old thing, only harder. As the old saying goes, “Doing the same thing over and over is the definition of insanity.”
I think there are two lessons in one here. The first one is that you need to come to the realization that in life, it rains on all of us sometime. There is no escaping it no matter how hard we try. Things just happen. Coming to this realization and accepting it is hard. This is especially true when life’s traumas are many and fall exceedingly hard on some of us. But in spite of this, you must accept this reality without self blame or self condemnation.
The second lesson to be learned is that during those times when things don’t go as planned, you need to readjust your way of thinking about the issue you are struggling with. You need to use the setbacks you experience as opportunities for learning. From an openness to new learning can act as an incentive to move you forward in a new or different way. Remember, you are here on this earth to grow. Don’t let anything or anyone keep you from driving toward that goal.
Life not being fair should never prevent you from driving on. Remember any questions, comments or suggestions can be directed to me, Ray Shocki PhD, LCSW, LMFT at firstname.lastname@example.org