I Will Never Make Blanket Statements…

Wait. What?! That is a blanket statement! How completely absurd for anyone to state, let alone believe in.  Long ago I learned to remove the word “never” from my vocabulary, and credit that attitude for getting me where I am today. I’ll let you know where that is when I figure it out…

The world is made up of absolutes. True and False. Right and Wrong. Up and Down. Granted, there are gray areas, but we live in a society where the truth is often smothered and bent and broken. However, we still are not provided any guarantees or play-by-plays as we tackle the world.

The discussion of blanket statements was prompted by a conversation with my father this past weekend, and it got my mind chewing on the adventures of life, and how there really aren’t any guarantees. Not everything is black and white. Not everything has a technical instruction guide. Fail…

We each have our own expectations for what we should get out of life, and for good reason. What would be the point if we didn’t have dreams, goals, etc? Unfortunately, the further I get away from being an undergraduate (almost three years now) the more I realize I have no freaking clue what is going on.

My “oh-so-neat” game plan and map of life is rapidly drawing to a close as the list of established plans only gets me through June 2013. The only problem is that the next set of “to-dos” is not clear, and actually I have no bloody idea what is heading down the highway to meet me. For all I know, I could get squashed by an 18 wheeler-sized change in plans.

In previous years of my life, I was able to see far enough in the future to at least put the foundation in place for my steps needed to get me there. Well, no luck this time… all I see is a giant blank calendar with no guidance or steps to get me to my destination except my gut instincts.

However, these are some of the building blocks I like to think will help me in future decision making…

  • Making assumptions – Perhaps the poorest use of one’s life is to make assumptions about plans, how things will turn out, or what the future will hold. My assumptions for 2011 were mostly off, despite having reached all my goals. Just goes to show you that you can’t anticipate the curve-balls of life.
  • Jumping to conclusions – Along with assumptions, jumping to conclusions is another thing I’m fantastic at, even though it’s very detrimental to my cause. When “Event A” happens it doesn’t always result in B. Sometimes A will lead you to Z but you just have to stop at D, K, L, M, Q, R, S, and T along the way!
  • Logical reasoning – You just can’t “reason” everything out. Some things happen and you just have to roll with the punches before gaining understanding! Blech…
  • Not all roads are created equal – Some paths may lead you in complete opposite directions of where you expect… the only thing you can do is use the map and tools that you’ve acquired in your years of adventure and trust that they will get you where you need to be, not necessarily where you expected to be. Just because you think a path may lead you off a cliff doesn’t mean that it necessarily will take you there.
  • Anticipate change – Change happens. The unexpected is unexpected because you didn’t expect it (duh!) so don’t let that ruin your day. Just go with it. Can’t we all just get along?!
  • Come to terms with yourself – Perhaps the greatest lesson from 2011 was that I have a much better understanding of myself. I’m different from when I was a naive undergraduate; I’m different from the person I thought I was in 2010. I am now Russell the Risk-Taker! I finally begin to understand “me” even though there is still an iceberg of hidden knowledge buried deep inside.

Well, if that wasn’t enough for you to think about through the weekend, then I don’t know what would be! “The Thinker” represents the ultimate depiction of the pondering nature of humans and is a great reflection of my mind at the moment.

What is currently occupying your mind and how are you dealing with it?

Picture credit 1. Picture credit 2. Picture credit 3. Picture credit 4.

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