Life's natural order: learn to roll with it

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? Photo: Anon.

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013 – It seems that some measure of struggling is required in order to survive in life. After all, in order to stand up, you have to know what falling down is like.

We crawl before we walk. We walk before we run. There’s a natural progression to life. To truly appreciate all the blessings that we have, we need to understand the importance of the struggles that we’ve gone through to get to where we want to go, even if we are not sure exactly what that place looks like.

Struggles permit us to appreciate those moments of ease and calm in life when they actually occur. Remember the Chinese philosophical concept of the yin and yang whereby seemingly opposing forces are actually interconnected in the real world. 

Yin and Yang. (Via Wikimedia)

Life happens in the order it is supposed to happen. There are no coincidences or accidents. I remember when I was a little girl my grandmother said to me, “When you plan, God laughs.” I may not have understood it then but I do now. 

Whatever higher power you believe in (or not) we need to provide ourselves with some breathing room rather than pursuing our contemporary habit of trying to control every single thing in our lives. It is actually a tremendous relief when you realize you are being guided. 

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That doesn’t mean, of course, that we can just sit back and “the universe” will take care of everything. Of course you want to plan, set goals and get into action. Those kinds of useful activities are what can help you navigate through each day. 

Meanwhile, stop pushing through closed doors and walk through the doors that are opened. It is exciting to think about where that might lead! If you make mistakes and fail, learn from the struggle. It will be the best kind of learning you have experienced.

Here are a few simple questions so you can check in with yourself. Ask yourself the following: How do I view things? What is my perspective? After all, what we perceive is our reality. 

Do I turn obstacles into stepping-stones? Do I turn hardships into challenges? Do I see myself as a victim or someone who not only survives but also thrives? Do I turn failure into success by learning from it? It all depends on the life perspective you have. 

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A great example describing this phenomenon is the common expression, “Do you see the glass as half empty or half full?” This expression is almost universally well known, and people still use it a lot because it makes good common sense. 

If you’re looking for a barometer to gauge what direction you mindset is in, asking yourself this simple question can help. And remember: Life can be fairly simple. Don’t complicate things!

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Susan Samakow

Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, is a Certified Business, Life and Leadership Coach. Susan focuses on life and career transition, business and leadership, and confidence and resilience strategies. Susan is also a speaker and facilitator, as well as a Community Content Producer for WUSA 9 TV. She is the former president of the ICF Metro DC Chapter, the largest in North America. Susan’s clients are individuals, any size business and the government. Visit Susan’s website: Susan is on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.


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