Imagine this: You have a plan. So, you’re walking with a purpose, an aim, because you have a destination in mind. But then, out of the blue something just catapults right into you, snatches your plan and chews it up. Now you don’t have a way to get to go where you want to be. Next thing you know, you’re lying on the ground. You have no idea how you’ve gotten there and you wonder, “What? Why?”
It’s like your life is off axis, tilting out of the norm. Your gut is wrenched, and your dreams are dashed. All the plans and arrangements, all for naught. Taken away from you in a blink of an eye, and you’re hopeless to say no. It’s a despair that can chill you to the bones. There’s nothing you can do; it simply is out of your control.
The truth to the matter is, that is simply how life is. It’s impossible to make ironclad plans and decisions, because everything changes. Everything is susceptible to change.
So, what do you do?
What do you do when things don’t go your way? When you’re forced to take a detour from your projected destination, because of circumstances that you aren’t in control of?
How do you get yourself up from the (hypothetical) floor, and start moving forward?
Look, I’m not going to pretend I know a one-size-fit-all solution to this predicament. To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s a really solid solution, for anyone. But it’s something that I’ve used, am using, to get myself moving forward instead of helplessly standing aside as life passes by.
So, here goes. This is for those of us who’re at a loss of direction and need to start from the ground up. For the ones with once sure-fire dreams that were dashed and now at a stalemate… This is for people just like me, at this point in my life.
Cry. Just have a good cry. Mope, be sad. Scream. Eat ice-cream. Use the aforementioned scream to scream for ice-cream. Do what you have to, to mourn for a period of time.
It’s a rude awakening, and it’s understandable for you to feel miserable. It’s only because you cared. Of course you’re going to feel bad.
Allow yourself to, after all, you’re only human.
WARNING: Do not overindulge in wallowing; if done so, there is a high risk of being stuck in this phase of self-pity and miserableness. A month of wallowing is too far a stretch; the more time you spend in this stage, the harder it is to go to the next step (and (if you’re anything like me) to fit into your pants after all that ice-cream you’ve indulged in).
- Make A Plan.
After a good bout of wallowing, and moping, grab a pencil and sit. Remember that dream you wanted to achieve? Before all the dramatic dashing of dreams, and hopeless despair?
Think: does a part of you still want to try and obtain it? If yes, the first thing to do is to remove the ‘BUT I CAN’T BECAUSE (insert despicable circumstances that stands between you and your dreams)’ thought that’s peeking under the covers. Take a step back and look around you; is there a way you haven’t thought of? Does it include factors that you didn’t consider then, but can see clearly now? Start listing down what you can do to move forward.
And if you really don’t know what to do. Just do something. Something that you like, perhaps? Or something you’ve always wanted to, but didn’t have time for because you were pursuing that dream that could never be?
Ever heard of the phrase ‘fake it ’till you make it’? Well, I’ve learned that these legends (in this case quotes) are stories that ring with truths, mates (thank you, Merida).
- Take A Beat.
Now that you have a list, or an idea where you’re going, take a deep breath. Relax. You’ve had your mourning period, and you’ve had your planning period. Now this is your prepping time, just before the big game. This is your mindset moment.
Sit down and meditate if you want to. Find peace with this move, before you do it. Come to terms that though it wasn’t the original, this is something. it’s a step forward.
Remember: Although everything happens for a reason, we are not at all entitled to know all the reasons.
- Make Your Move.
The next step on the list is the final one. It’s when you can start to move forward. Get up from the floor, and start walking to your new route. Be it to the same destination through a different direction or a new destination altogether, move forward confidently and with purpose.
And if you find yourself back on the floor? Repeat steps 1-4. Life’s a journey, after all.