Don’t Let Life Happen To You


“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” John Lennon and Allen Saunders are both credited as saying. And to some extent, I think they’re right. You can plan all you want, set goals, create targets, and get your schedule right down to the hour. And you will still run into this unpredictable thing called, “life.” Life doesn’t care about your plans. Life will always find a way to get caught up in them. And yet, I say to you: Don’t let life happen to you.

The reality of my life and your life is that we were born with a lot of decisions already made for us: Your family, your upbringing, your community, your socio-economic status, etc., and the list goes on. There are so many things beyond our control that it truly feels that almost everything we have is a result of a privilege. And if not a privilege, then a gift that was given to us by someone else’s hard work. But still I say to you, you can change the course of your life. Don’t let life happen to you.

We are all given something – a gift, a talent, a purpose. That is something I firmly believe in. None of us is brought into the world without something that we can use to touch the lives of others, to leave the world better than we found it. Are you wasting yours? Do you even know what it is? Have you made every effort to discern what you came to do on this earth? Or what you need or want to do while you’re here? Or are you passing endlessly through the motions? Are you only reacting to life? Because if you are, life is simply happening to you.

I get it. Trust me, I get it. The odds are against you. You were born into an unjust society. A society that may see you as less than, a society that maybe doesn’t value your perspective and your gifts. You were born being told you couldn’t; believing that you’d end up ordinary. But damn it, you’re only here for maybe a couple of decades, and that’s it. You will go to the grave like every other person. Is it not worth it while you’re here, to truly go for the life that you were meant for? I’m not talking about just a job or the career or the relationship or the achievements. I am talking about everything. Are you mad enough to want everything? Whatever that means to you. Are you mad enough to not let life happen to you?

You won’t have control over a lot of things in this life. And you will fail a lot. There will be moments of heartbreak and moments you are burdened by the mere mundanity of being human. But in spite all of that or maybe because of all of that, you can still reach within you and find something that keeps you going; something that gives you the strength to face life, head on. You don’t have to figure it all out in one day or in one year. But if you start today, what you can create can give meaning over a lifetime. If you start today, you can be the person you want to be destined to be. Today, you can stop letting life happen to you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Former Senior Writer & Cultural Advocate at Thought Catalog • Buy Conversations for Smart People • Connect on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram

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