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Why Having it All Figured Out Isn't Actually Better

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

Do you recall the last movie you watched that was really captivating? One that had you laughing, crying, and on the edge of your seat? One where you felt the full spectrum of emotion in just 90 minutes and couldn't wait to find out what happens to each character?

It's not every day you see a movie like this, but when you do, you say to yourself, "wow, that movie was really good!"

It's funny how when we watch a movie that's full of ups and downs, we appreciate the adventure and call it a good movie, but when it's our own life that's got us on a rollercoaster ride we wish it would be over as soon as possible.

We believe that if we just had it all figured out, things would be better and life would finally be good.

But think of the last time you saw a really boring, flat movie. You probably didn't even watch it until the end.

Now imagine what life would feel like if everything was already figured out. If there was no struggle, no challenge, no surprises, maybe not even much variety.

When you're trying to figure things out, this far-off land of everything being sorted out is kind of idealized. Many of us don't stop to think what it would really feel like to be there.

Let's fast forward to the end of your life. Imagine watching it as if it were a movie with a beginning, middle and end. What do you think would make you say, "wow, that movie was really good"? Would you take out the parts that were a struggle? How about the parts where you felt uncertain about what was going to happen next? Would you call those the bad parts of the movie?

Would you truly want to take the adventure out of life? Ok, perhaps some adventures can certainly be skipped. But my intention is to get you to think about your life as a series of scenes that roll from one to another. The action scenes make the quiet scenes better and vice versa.

In your life, never having anything at all to figure out, would likely get boring and you'd be wishing it was over just as much as wishing the challenging parts would end. If you're asking yourself why hasn't this, that or the other thing happened for me yet, take a second to get real with yourself and ask the question, what would I really feel like if I had this thing right now? Perhaps you would not feel just one thing, but rather a combination of both positive and negative feelings.

For me personally, being extremely close to attaining something I've struggled to attain for a long time, forced me to confront this question, and it was in this moment that I learned to accept that my desire to achieve this thing is in direct conflict with my desire to experience adventure in life. The latter is fulfilled by not having that thing and the former is fulfilled by giving up the latter.

But this gave me a third way to see things, which is that it's not actually better to have everything figured out. The best is to allow the obstacles in just as much as the wins. Be fully present in each scene and trust that its opposite will always arrive next. Allow each of your desires to be in the spotlight at some point in the timeline of your movie.

We are complex beings and we have contradictory desires, but that doesn't mean we have to give up one in order to have the other. See your desires for what they are and give them each a turn to be fulfilled. Your life... is much longer than a movie... there is time for it all!

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