Facts of Life That Get In The Way Of Living
Bill Cottringer

“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.” ~Victor Hugo, Les Misérables.

If we didn’t think and feel so much about living, believe certain things to be true and others not, expect certain outcomes, and try to interpret everything that happens, our lives would just go on, probably with less failures and more successes. But that is a fact of life that gets in the way of living. And unfortunately, we rarely see things as they are but rather the way we are—with all our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, interpretations, and expectations and all the other facts of life that get in the way of living.

Here are 7 such facts of life that get in the way of living. These are the realities we have to adapt to if we are going to be as happy, successful and content as we would like to be. Acceptance is not a weakness, but just a way to release your true strength and put you in a better position to use it.

Bad Things Happen to Good People

This is a tough spiritual question for ministers, rabbis and priests. How do we explain an all-powerful and loving God allowing innocent children to be mercilessly slaughtered in a classroom, hard-working folks to lose a permanent home with everything they call theirs in a vicious storm, or young soldiers to have their life cut short by an IED? The only possible answer is that both good and bad things happen in life and they are not directed at good or bad people. And of course there is a distinct possibility that we don’t get all our answers here on earth, and may just happen to wait for a bigger purpose to be revealed which will finally make good sense of such inexplicable tragedies.

Life’s Way Is Rarely Our Way

From the beginning we see that life is just not going to cooperate with our needs and preferences and be the way we want it to be. It has its own way that is impossible to deny and yet foolishly we keep trying, sometimes until the mortal end. The problem is that sometimes enough people luck out in changing realities into ones they want and creating new and better ones than most of us have, that the rest of us get deluded into thinking it can be done. But even those few élite winners operate with a secret. They let go to the way of life until it gradually takes them where they want to be and they suddenly experience overnight success.

We Resist Certainties

There was an earlier saying in the human potential movement that was annoyingly true—“What you resist persists.” One such thing—change—comes with two inevitable qualities: (1) it will always make us feel annoyingly disturbed and uncomfortable, but more so when we are most comfortable, and (2) It just keeps coming like the energizer bunny. Once you begin to accept that change is the way of life, there is no need to expect otherwise and get disappointed by all that it brings.

What We Know Is Often Not So

Actually I am beginning to learn that all that I think I know for sure is not really so at all. But that is probably due to another fact of life. This fact is that we can only see 180-degrees with one set of eyes, meaning we are always going to be stuck with only seeing half of the truth and waiting for the rest of the story. And since the whole truth is delayed because our brains aren’t wired to capture it all at once, we are stuck trying to deal with situations with only half of what we need to know to be more successful. But, just knowing that fact of life, helps you from taking yourself or your position too seriously and then you more open to learning what you need to know.

Perceptions and Reality Often Disagree

Actually they rarely agree at the end of the day when all is said and done. The “rest of the story” that we always find out after-the-fact always, changes our perceptions and realties with more accuracy and additional completeness. And, we know from physics experiments, that even Mechanical “observers” change outcomes in experiments that are specifically designed to avoid that. Things are the way they are, and all we can do is try to see and talk about them in close approximation. But this means not taking our individual perceptions quite so seriously as being the true gospel, but rather a tentative conclusion at the time to be added to later.

Patience is Impossible

The rest of nature has the luxury of patience but not human beings. Becoming patient is like trying to lose your ego; the more you try to do it the more it dominates you. So, the easy way is to not try to do something that is impossible. Instead, you can try to take your mind off wanting or waiting for something but putting something else of a diversionary nature to divert your brain’s focus. That is the only way kids can control their natural immediate need gratification in the classic marshmallow experiment.

The Tail Always Wags the Dog

Life and everything is already in perpetual motion before we take our first breath or first step. Trying to stop a flowing river to be in control and able to redirect it where we think it ought to be flowing, is a theoretical dream. The tail wags the dog to give us a hint on what we can in fact control and fix, gradually on our collective march toward being the dog that wags the tail. But we are a long way back from that.

When you start doing the impossible thing—accept the sure reality that you are just a small part of life and that life isn’t a big part of you—you get rid of the bad effects of the facts of life that get in the way of your living.
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“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” ~Angela Monet.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Executive Vice-President for Employee Relations for Puget Sound Security, Inc. in Bellevue, WA, along with his hobbies in being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the peaceful but invigorating mountains and rivers of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, “You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too” (Executive Excellence), “The Bow-Wow Secrets” (Wisdom Tree), “Do What Matters Most” and “P” Point Management” (Atlantic Book Publishers), “Reality Repair” (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Authorsden), and “If Pictures Could Talk,” coming soon. Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 454-5011 or ckuretdoc@comcast.net