When everything goes wrong, you may be lucky

“It’s natural to seek reassurance. Most of us want to believe that the choices we make will work out, that everything will be okay. Artists and those that launch the untested, the new and the emotional (and I’d put marketers into all of these categories) wrestle with this need all the time. How can we proceed knowing that there’s a good chance that our actions will fail, that things might get worse, that everything won’t end up okay? In search of solace, we seek reassurance.” (Seth Godin, ‘No Everything Is Not Going To Be Okay’)

No Seth. Everything is already okay.

It always has been and it always will be: OK. There’s nothing we can do about that.

Even if we didn’t do a thing, the world would still be okay.

Once you know that, there’s a lot more you can do with your life.

Willing to believe that may be even harder than giving up our search of solace and reassurance.

We have a habit of believing life isn’t okay as it is. So we resist it, whether it is by fighting it or ignoring it. Some of us even believe we were destined to resist life and change it the way we want it. Such is the destiny of Man. But is it, really?

What if resisting life is exactly what is holding us back?

What if respecting resisting and refusing to seeing life as it is actually keeps us from making the most of it?

If a crisis makes one thing clear, it’s that. In a sense, every crisis shows us what life is really about.

And I’m not talking about taking challenges or being on the edge.

I’m talking about breathing.

If life is about one thing, it’s about breathing, one breath at the time. When times get rough, knowing that you’re still breathing one breath at a time is always the first step to overcoming your crisis. Every crisis.

Breath by breath, you embrace life again as it is. And then you take one step. And another. And you make your way again.

The thing is, people do this all the time. They’re just not aware of it.

And that’s fine.

Because if we all would be aware, would we still be able to wonder? Wonder about the little things? About the small steps? About the simple power of a single breath, one after the other?

I guess not.

There wouldn’t be much to discover, is it?

There wouldn’t be anything superbly about being human.

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9 thoughts on “When everything goes wrong, you may be lucky

  1. […] can matter. To me, it is another example of how important it is that life is about realizing that at its most basic level it is just about breathing one breath at the time. « “Most days my job is breathing” […]

  2. Katri Kytöpuu says:

    I have been thinking this a lot. I think, that we are build in such way, that we do have amazing strenghts to survive. After huge disasters we still breathe and we do it ourselves. The support of others is important to us, but the basic work we do ourselves. Sometimes we need to notice, that we are active doers instead of passive objects of help.

    What comes to resistance of life, could that be called hopelessness? Our biology is strong and gives us means to survive, but sometimes our mind is stronger. We are alive, but we don’t live. Years ago I talked with Finnish researcher, whose field of expertice was people with dementia. She said, that they noticed, that those who still had clear moments and did understand, that in the future they would loose their life (by not remembering it), sometimes decided to die. Without any help or actual suicide, there were many of those, who died within weeks/months without any particular disease. And then there were those, who lost their memory quickly and they could live 20-25 years after that.

    So I think, that hope is one of the most important things to us. We need to have hope, that because we are able to take that single breath, there will be a future to us, a future worth of living.

  3. Meri Walker says:

    Nice way of contrasting the two perspectives. We get to change things. We get to accept change. Breathe in. Breathe out.

  4. koepee says:

    I try to formulate my view here.

    One breath is a nice perspective on the essence of life. The human brain offers another perspective enabling us to think about that one breath and even meta-think about us thinking about the one breath. (Things may get complicated before you can simplify again)

    La condition humaine… If you fear death, you won’t live a life. But I guess life becomes a lot easier if you focus on the things you have an impact on. I guess Seth means that you may want to widen your impact horizon. People are waiting for others to step up and lead the way.

    Leadership is human in all its essence. Problems are never a problem if the reaction of the leader to the problem is right. So, fears and angers of others enable leaders to act superbly human. Right?

    • @koepee, thank you for your response and insightful thoughts.

      “Leadership is human in all its essence.” Great quote Koen, I’ll keep that one in mind. It are those fears indeed which offer others the opportunity to act superbly human. In a way, we’re kind of spoiled with opportunities :).

      In essence I agree with what you write, although last week I had an interesting discussion with a friend about the distinction between our brain and our cognition. I see the latter as another sense also influencing brain activity which cannot be separated from the rest of our sensory experiences which influence our brain activity simultaneously.

      This means in a sense that the breathing could be as much linked to the meta-thinking as the meta-thinking is linked to the breathing.

      I’m with you and Seth on widening people’s impact horizon. Yet the challenge to me is to make them understand that this doesn’t require them to be Supermen. Either way, as you say, people are waiting for others to step up and lead the way. Yet if you know where to look and what to look for, chances are you’ll find plenty of superbly human leadership nearby.

  5. CoCreatr says:

    Seth said, or I understood, do not let fear of things not ok stop you. Some stuff will crop up, deal with it as it appears. It is ok, too, and yes, you can. Superbly human to do the next step, anyway or despite.
    Setbacks or progress – what does it take to tell lf you are you getIng closer to your goals and dreams?

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Superblyhuman, Superblyhuman. Superblyhuman said: @CoCreatr @Annemcx @koepee @paoloterni @bad_tist @lamazone Hi guys, love to have your view on this one http://bit.ly/5Kw1nq. […]

  7. Anne McCrossan says:

    It reminds me of Marianne’s Williamson quote, that our deepest fears are not about our darkness, but our light; you’ve really added something extra to that idea with this, an outstanding observation.

    If we shift our focus to this it changes everything, superbly human, indeed. Thanks for writing this Hannes.

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