Written by Kim Carson
When you live long enough, you learn that life is unpredictable; it throws you curve ball after curve ball. How you respond to those curve balls will determine whether you have a hit or a miss. Unpredictability is what life is all about and the sooner you figure out what to do with the unpredictable the better it will be for you.
When the daily pattern changes, the false comfort and security of life is altered, and that routine that someone else has defined for you gets shaken up by the unpredictable. Those are the times for the greatest growth and opportunity. Unpredictability has a way of forcing your hand. It has a way of making you think fast on your feet. It engages the fight or flight complex and it will ultimately determine whether you succeed or fail. Get ready for the free fall and the roller coaster ride of a lifetime when unpredictability sets it sights on you. But more than unpredictability, your attitude and what you do with the unexpected will ultimately determine whether you succeed or fail.
Pastor Michael Pitts from Toledo, Ohio once preached some wise words in one of his messages. He said, “Either you are walking in faith or you are walking in fear, but you cannot be doing both simultaneously.” So what are you doing? Most of us probably find ourselves alternating between both. One moment we feel faith filled and the next moment a wave of fear comes over us. That’s a natural reaction, but the real objective should be to fill yourself with faith when that wave of fear overcomes you. Whatever you focus on in life will grow. When your focus becomes fear, you will become fearful. When your focus becomes faith, you will become faith filled and your faith will grow.
I had a chance to catch up with Dr. Matthew Clark, psychologist with The Clark Institute (www.TheClarkInstitute.com) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He believes that good things can come from unpredictability and here are a few of those things to think about. Interestingly enough he recently heard a message preached at his church. In summation the message was this, “Sometimes when things feel like they are falling apart, they are actually falling together.” – Shane Hipps/Mars Hill Bible Church. Here’s my conversation with Dr. Matt.
Kim: Losing a job is a big change and can make one feel uncomfortable. Can anything good come from uncomfortability?
Dr. Matt: Pain, being uncomfortable, unhappy and downright miserable can be the catalyst we need to actually push us to take action we would not have taken in our place of comfort, feeling “alright” or getting by. Sometimes it’s points of emergency that make it a necessary time to take action that will not only return our lives to the level they were at, but actually take us farther than we ever expected. Ray Bradbury just passed away. It wasn’t until middle age, he thought he was at the end of his rope financially as well as healthwise that he decided to write. He and his wife went from poverty to millions at that point of desperation.
Kim: Why do we as people sometimes need to feel uncomfortabilty to motivate us to change our situations?
Dr. Matt: Because when we are just surviving or getting by we feel fine with the status quo while complaining to ourselves, our friends, or whoever will listen. It’s more comfortable to not take action and we can afford this luxury. However, in times of crisis like a lay off, your wife threatening to leave you, or being told by your supervisor that you need to “get your act together” we know that we can’t stay complacent. We must take action to survive, grow, and make the necessary changes in our lives. These are times people get sober, create a business, further education, start listening to their spouses, come back to God or spirituality, and work on themselves. Some circles call this a spiritual emergency or existential angst. Most of us call it “crisis” and I have to get my act together.
Kim: Uncomfortableness and change cause some people to freeze. What steps can they take to begin to move ahead again, whether it’s a relationship that has ended or a job loss?
Dr. Matt: In the beginning stages we often feel shock. We wonder why or worry, “I’m not going to make it.” Write down your goals. Write down what you can do in the first 24 hours, what you can do now and in the next three months and what you can do in the next six months to help you reach your goals, stay focused and see progress. Notice what is working for you and what is not working at all. When I started my private practice I read small business, government, and other therapists’ websites. This was one of my 24 hour action steps. Prayer can be one of those too — or reaching out to friends or colleagues for suggestions. Next write down 20 things every day that you can do to help you become a better person on the inside and bring you closer to reaching your goals. As far as a relationship, I don’t believe in searching for a relationship. Follow your passions and he/she will bump into you.
I agree with Dr. Matt, in fact I agree with that last statement on so many levels, “Continue to follow your passions, and it will ultimately bring you to your destined fate!” Enjoy the journey and safe travels.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kim Carson is an author and television/radio/internet personality. You can keep up with all of her adventures at www.FaithHopeandLovesSongs.com and on facebook at www.facebook.com/KimCarsonNOW