When trying to achieve an objective there can be many reasons why things don’t fall into place in the end.
The question then becomes how to deal with the outcome, or more precisely, how to deal with oneself when the objective has not been achieved.
There is the possibility to rationalize things by providing simple wisdom like “such is life” and “tomorrow is another day”, or by taking it lightly and inviting not to worry about it, assuming that “that thing that didn’t work out wasn’t that important.”
While there might be a lot to those ideas, it is also accepting the situation without engaging in it. It’s putting oneself into a position of helplessness.
And sometimes, it’s true. The reasons why things didn’t fall into place might very well have been outside of one’s control. Which certainly is how life is.
And most certainly a reason why life today might seem so much more out of control lies in the fact that in a complex and globally interdependent world, there is more impacting us and our sense of control than before.
There is no perfect solution to dealing with oneself when things don’t fall into place as hoped for. However, to come to an acceptance that is grounded, it helps to look at two things that are within one’s control.
The first is to review the objective. What was it? Was it even there? And if so, what is within one’s control?
It’s easy to know that I can’t become president of the United States, my birth nationality prevents it. There everything is beyond my control.
Would I want to become the top read blogger on the web I might believe that it is achievable (I don’t). Looking into the details I’ll be able to find many details beyond my control. However, many bloggers may still uphold that dream. And that is fine.
Dreams and hope have often allowed people to achieve goals no one believed in. But stepping into such a journey means accepting an unpredictable outcome. Better not expect the outcome. But, yes, do use it to draft the path.
The second thing to do is to regularly look back at the efforts one has put in. Where they the planned ones? And has one been fully engaged in putting them in?
It’s much less about the possibility to do more than the necessity to engage according to plan and be present to it.
Naturally, it might have been possible to do more, and providing the effort might not have been flawless. Looking back, one may also see a lot of mistakes. But putting in the effort and being engaged in providing the effort is all that is within one’s control.
It’s more important to have the courage to decide on an objective and the efforts, one will undertake to achieve one’s objective. The rest is then taken care of by doing the work and showing up.
Mistakes will still be painful and invite more learning. But putting in all the effort possible without making any mistakes is beyond our control.
Not to forget, that time will tell what the mistake was and if it existed. Especially if it was used as an opportunity to learn.