I have always believed that if something is meant to be, then it will be. The idea that there is a greater power out there and that everything that happens to me is all part of one big, life-fulfilling plan can be a comforting thought. It allows me to release the anxiety and worry over things that I cannot control. However, it also leaves me feeling a bit powerless and to be honest, hearing the phrase “everything happens for a reason” doesn’t always feel so great when things are not going my way. It has led me ponder, “How far should one take these life mantras?”
I have heard the phrase, “When opportunity knocks on your door… answer it!” Well, what if I want to be the one knocking? Granted there are many things out of my control, but if I have an idea of my future goals, why not go for it? When I decided I wanted to go to graduate school, I didn’t sit on my couch and hope the mailman would knock and give me some random acceptance letter. I had to work hard, apply and interview. I had to put myself out there. I had to knock on opportunity’s door.
Studies have shown that people suffering from depression often have an “external locus of control”, meaning they passively believe things happen to them, rather then believing they can take charge of their lives and decisions. Try to control what you can control, do what you can do on your end of things, and THEN sit back and relax. You have to knock on opportunity’s door first, and then see if it answers.
Let’s say you want to pursue that dream job. Chances are that it won’t just magically appear and fall onto your lap. If it does, then you are extremely lucky and must have some seriously amazing karma, but for the rest of us, we have to take initiative to make something happen. What have you got to loose? You currently do not have the dream job, so you can’t lose what you don’t have. Put yourself out there! Take a chance, draft that killer cover letter, send that email, network a little, put that energy out there, and then see where life takes you.
The purpose behind a mantra is to help you feel calm, confident, and relaxed. The time to use this mantra is once you have done all you can do. Once you have applied or interviewed for that job, constantly worrying about it won’t get you anywhere. No amount of worrying will decide whether you get the job or not. So why stress yourself out? You have gotten yourself to a certain point, the point of controlling what you can control. Now is the time to tap into the belief that everything happens for a reason. It will be if it is meant to be.
We cannot control everything, but we can live our lives in a way that allows us to pursue our own destiny. I can’t guarantee you that if you knock, opportunity will answer, but you never know unless you try! There are numerous doors to knock on, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t work out. Give yourself some time to sulk, then re-evaluate and try again. We may think we know where we are meant to be, but until we get there, sometimes things just don’t make sense. So until then, do what you can, take some control and try out your new mantra, “Keep Calm… and Knock on the Door”.