A Box of Chocolates

“Uncertainty is one of the essential seasonings of life.” – Thomas Hornbein

For those of you who don’t know who Tom Hornbein is, take a look. Please do so before you continue reading this entry. You need to understand what this man has accomplished in his life – and it’s importance to mankind as a whole – before you can really understand not only the quote above, but what will follow in the rest of this article. Did you look? Good. Now let’s continue.

I had the exquisite opportunity tonight to meet this man and shake his hand. Every so often in life, opportunities are presented to you. Those opportunities will lead to other opportunities which have the potential to redefine your life. Eight months ago, I took advantage of the opportunity for a new job. Because I took advantage of that opportunity, I have since then met the love of my life (the Angel), have met the doctor who runs the hospital at Everest Base Camp (Everest ER), have met the man – mentioned above – who was the first to summit the West Face of Mount Everest, have gotten trips to Breckenridge, CO and Park City, UT, and coming in May I’ll be hiking through the magnificent Utah Canyon Lands for the first time in my life. All this because I allowed myself to be open to a new job.

Forrest Gump’s most infamous line is this: “Life is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you’re gonna get.” This quote is talking about the same thing that Tom Hornbein mentioned above: uncertainty. I would argue that uncertainty is what more people fear than anything else, and seemingly understandingly so. It’s what drives our pursuit for answers. It’s what pushes us to define life, spirituality and almost every other aspect of our lives. But I’m here to deliver a specific message: DON’T BE AFRAID OF UNCERTAINTY. You wanna know why? Because it’s one of the few things in life that it is impossible to rid yourself of. There will always be unanswered questions in your life. And guess what? The idea of you living another day isn’t the promise you believe it to be. Unforeseen events happen EVERY DAY. You can never be certain of what any given day will bring. So stop being afraid of what you don’t know and start embracing it.

Life is going to happen whether you want it to or not. Even more so, it’s going to happen whether you’re ready for it to or not. So our responsibility as individuals comes not in being prepared for life every day, but rather being open to letting it sweep us away. You see, every thing life throws at you is an opportunity. Even the bad stuff is an opportunity. Did life throw at you the loss of a loved one? It also threw at you the opportunity to celebrate life – both yours and the deceased. Did life throw you losing your job? It also threw you the opportunity to find another one. The fact of the matter is – and I really need to talk more about Self-Contained Reality sooner rather than later – that everything that happens in life is a matter of perspective. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. If you are then it stands to reason that you are afraid of EVERYTHING.

I guess the overall message is this: take advantage of life. Yes, life is a series of events that we have very little – if any – control of. I mean, think about all of the things that come together to make your day. The decisions that others make that will impact you in completely unforeseeable ways. Natural occurrences will affect your life in ways that no one could possibly predict. So instead of wallowing in fear and doubt that accompanies uncertainty, embrace it and start view life as a series of opportunities to feel alive.

Don’t allow uncertainty to cloud your vision. Guess what? You can’t always control what happens to you in your life. No matter how hard you try, things will happen to you that you can’t control. There’s too many intersecting forces in this existence for you to control literally every aspect. So stop trying to. Stop trying to find every single answer. Accept that there are things in life beyond your control and that there are certain questions that are unanswerable. And instead of viewing those as hurdles, view them as opportunities to embrace every single day. View them as opportunities to appreciate life and to find the value of existing. Do this and you will start seeing an endless amount of opportunities in your life. Will you be open and accept them? That, my friends, is up to you. Carpe vita.

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