Amazing Possibilities – The Unexpected Life

Life doesn’t turn out the way we expect. In some ways it exceeds our expectations, and in other ways it disappoints them. There may be hopes and dreams that were part of the life we expected that we need to grieve because they didn’t materialize. But there are also hopes and dreams we had when we were younger that we are glad did not come to be.

We see now that we were ill-suited for them, and they were ill-suited for us. At the same time, there are things about the unexpected life that surprise and delight.

Life doesn’t unfold as we plan. We all live unexpected lives in one way or another. But sooner or later, we have to decide how we are going to make the most of the unexpected life. It is then that we come face-to-face with two enduring truths: We cannot live without the hope that things will change for the better, and we are not victims of our circumstances.

You are not what has happened to you. You are not what you have accomplished. You are not even who you are today or who you have become so far. You are also who and what you are still capable of becoming. You are your realized and unrealized potential. God sees you and all your potential, and he aches to see you embrace your best, truest, highest self. He yearns to help you and to accompany you in that quest.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re feeling, however life has surprised and disappointed you, I want to remind you of one thing: The best is yet to come! There are times in life when this is easier or harder to believe, but the best is truly yet to come. Open yourself up to it, so you can see it and embrace it when it emerges!

From “I Heard God Laugh”

Amazing Possibilities – How Do Your Best Days Begin?

Victor Hugo wrote, “He who every morning plans the transactions
of the day and follows out that plan carries a thread that
will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The
orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of light which darts
itself through all his occupations. But where there is no plan,
where the disposal of time is surrendered to the chance incidents,
chaos will soon reign.”

If you look back on the past ninety days, some days were
better than others. There were probably some great days, a lot
of fairly average days, and perhaps some bad days. What caused
the great days? Was each one just happenstance, completely out
of your control, nothing to do with you? Or are there certain
things that you did that predisposed that day to being a great

Let’s break it down a little further. How do your best days
begin? When I ask this question in my seminars I get many
different answers: working out; having breakfast with my
children; taking some quiet time for prayer, reflection, planning;
getting to bed early the night before; waking up rested;
giving myself enough time to get ready without rushing. The
thing is, most people have never thought of it. It’s a simple
thing but true evidence of how little strategy there is to our

You see, my own experience tells me this: if a day doesn’t
start as a great day, it is very, very, very unlikely to end as a
great day. Once a day gets away from us, we tend to go into
survival mode. Consciously or subconsciously we tend to start
thinking to ourselves, “Alright, let’s just get through this day!”

Also, once a day gets away from you, it is very difficult to alter
its momentum; it takes a lot of energy and attention to shift
the energy of a day that has already gotten away from you. All
this leads to the conclusion that it is best to take some time to
set up a day. In doing so we give that day the best chance it has
to be a great day.

Examining the best way to start your day is a great way to
start living strategically. I did this for a long time, but then I
started to examine my day on a deeper level. I started asking
myself what components guaranteed (barring any disaster) that
I would have a really good day. I came up with five things, and
I call these core habits. Each year I reassess my core habits.
Sometimes they change and sometimes they don’t. But I know
that if I do these five things on any given day the chances of me
not having a really good day are pretty slim.

Matthew Kelly

From Off Balance
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