Holding on to Your Goals: Facing the Unexpected with MaybePosted: January 24, 2013
The other day I was having lunch with a friend that had just watched an interview I did about Philosophy of Maybe. His response was, “How is Maybe different from leaving it up to chance?” I immediately smiled and said, “I bet you are not addicted to certainty.” He laughed and said, “Actually I’m not – I’m a positive thinker. When I was a young I read the Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale and that was it for me. Whenever I have a problem or something unexpected comes up, I brush off my shoulders and get back to work.” I responded, “You are very fortunate that you have the ability to stay positive in the face of the unknown and I understand why Maybe doesn’t make sense to you. However, many people can’t stay positive in the face of the unexpected and that is why we need Maybe.”
We all have goals in life. We start businesses, take new jobs, save our money for a new home, get married and much more. Most of us start each new endeavor with hope and a positive outlook that we will be successful. Then life throws us a curve ball and something happens that we didn’t expect. Maybe the economy changes, we lose our job, our business profit decreases dramatically or we have trouble with an important relationship in our life.
For my friend at lunch, he plows through each of these types of situations and stays positive and focused. But for many of us the unexpected is very painful. When we don’t see the results that we hoped for we worry and get stressed that things won’t work out or will get even worse. We create negative projections about what the future will bring based on what we see today. We cannot hold on to a positive outlook in the face of the uncertainty of the future. Because of this, some of us give up our dreams too soon or we live with tremendous stress and worry that can lead to emotional pain and even physical illness.
But there is hope for those of us who are addicted to certainty; there is Maybe. Maybe is the part of uncertainty wherein endless possibilities live and breathe. Maybe is not a matter of probability as in, ”There is an eighty percent chance a situation could be bad and a twenty percent chance it could work out well.” Instead, within the uncertainty of life, it is a space which suggests that, for every situation we experience, there are numerous ways it may resolve. Within these many possibilities, Maybe there is a chance a situation that we are facing will work out well or Maybe the answer will come to us or Maybe we will be all right no matter what happens. The essence of “Maybe” or “what may be” contains the hope within uncertainty.
With Maybe we can hold on to our goals and just find new ways to achieve them. We can stay positive and open because we have the realization that we are not “stuck” and that life can unfold in many ways. We are not just “leaving things to chance” but instead we are expanding our minds to embrace all that can be. In turn, Maybe shows us more opportunities to find the life we are looking for.
Just say Maybe!