We are constantly setting goals for ourselves and working to make them happen. This gives us focus and ensures we use our time and energy efficiently and effectively. It also provides us with a sense of purpose and direction. We know where we are going and what we want to do. But quite often, due to forces outside our control, things do not go as planned—the flat tire on the way to the wedding, the unforeseen flu virus—and we have to adjust to a postponement or create a whole new set of circumstances. Even positive turns of fortune — an unexpected influx of cash or falling in love — require us to be flexible and to reconsider our plans and priorities, sometimes in the blink of an eye. This is what happens when life throws you a curveball.
Accepting what is happening and letting go of your original expectations is critical when dealing with these unexpected turns of fate. We tend to get stuck in our heads, clinging to an idea of how we think life should go, and we can have a hard time accepting anything that doesn’t comply with that idea. The fact is that life is unpredictable. The trip you thought was for business — and when the deal fell through, you got depressed — actually landed you at the airport two days earlier than planned so you could meet the love of your life. Your car breaks down, and you are late for an appointment. While it’s true that you never arrive at that critical meeting, you end up spending a few relaxing hours with people you would never have met otherwise.
The universe throws us the occasional curveball to keep us awake to opportunity and to teach us equanimity. Remember that curveballs are not only life’s way of keeping us awake, which is a gift in and of itself; they are also often life’s way of bringing us beautiful surprises. Next time a curveball comes your way, take a deep breath, say thank you, and open your mind to a new opportunity.