Life Not Working As Planned 

Last updated: October 2022

At some time in all our lives things do not work, and often that means we feel stuck and lose our way. A prostate cancer diagnosis is not something we are looking forward to, but out of the blue – there it is, and you must deal with it. No matter how much support you have in the end, YOU are the one who must deal with it.

Personally, I have had multiple run-ins with cancer along with a douse of COVID and the death of a loved one. Yikes! Talk about a pile of junk in my life lately.

It's easy to lose perspective

When this kind of stuff enters your life, it easy to lose perspective. At first it was so easy for me to spin my wheels, feel down and out, and get confused. There would have been a better understanding on how to deal with life if I had been taught when I was growing up, or in school, that real life is messy, and things don't always work out the way we planned.

I finally said to myself, "Dennis, quit telling yourself about the problems, stop reenforcing the negatives, and begin looking for a few solutions!" Slowly, I began to realize my feelings of grief, being stuck, fearful and more were not the real problem. They are my manufactured reactions based on my view on life. In short, they are the byproducts of my imagined failed plans.

Life doesn't always happen the way we want

My problem was simple. I like many had planned my life the way I wanted to happen. And it did not happen that way. In spite of what people say, when you ask them how they are doing, not everyone is "living the dream." Life is lived as it is. We get stuck I suspect when we make plans and when the plan does not happen. We often find ourselves mourning what could have been, or we push forward determined to overcome all the odds even if it is not meant to happen.

John Lennon may have said it best: "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." My wife was supposed to outlive me, and I was not supposed to get prostate cancer twice along with being hospitalized for COVID. That stuff definitely was not my plan for a happy life.

The point is, it would be easy to miss any future real-life opportunities if I spend all of my time regretting the life that I had planned but did not happen.

Focusing on opportunities

While I am not a big box type of religious person, I am spiritual and deep down believe there are great things that a Divine Intent has planned for my now-unfolding life. I have to think there is a greater path for me than I would have ever planned for myself. I refer to our created things in life as “possibilities” vs what we should be focusing on: the many "opportunities" that surround us every day.

So, what should you do when things don't work, when you feel stuck, or become fearful? Step back and look at what you are doing! Ask yourself a few questions: Am I being distracted with possibilities, or am I embracing opportunities? Is what I am doing taking all my energy, or am I getting energy from my activity? Is everything in my life disconnected? A great piece of advice I received was: figure out how to play the hand you are dealt; with some effort any hand can be played out for the good.

If you take just one thing from this article it is this: in the end, the worst lies in life are the ones you tell yourself.

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