“Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.”
Maybe it's old age; maybe the brain gets soft after all the years of straining, but this realization, as stated so simply by Irving Berlin, is absolute truth. What hindsight shows us is that we spend a great portion of our precious time here on planet earth trying to make life look the way we think it should. We maneuver, and manipulate, and twist our circumstances in every direction in an effort to make those we love, and those we don't love, do what we want them to do. We spend countless years, even decades, expending life-energy in the effort to be the master of our fate. And some of us succeed for some of the time. But life has a way of unfolding on its own no matter what we do. That's why “how you take it” matters.
For some reason, we humans are given to holding strong ideas about life's purpose and fulfillment. Other animals don't do that, of course. They just take each day as it comes. Dog-Liza, for instance, has woken-up, stretched, peed, eaten her breakfast and is now curled up on the porch sofa having her first nap of the day. She's like a hobbit—there's first nap, second nap, bark at the dogs next door, third nap, and so on. I'm not sure our super-large brains have served us so well. It's true that our insane drive to control has gotten us to Mars, mapped the human genome, and formulated vaccines for most childhood diseases. It's not in the sphere of higher intelligence that we seem to struggle—its managing our lower intelligence—the one that wants to control other people and circumstances in order to serve some notion of what is “supposed to be.”
In our endless search for happiness, we seem to have forgotten how to be...well...happy. Content, satisfied, okay with life as it is, as it is going to be—ever changing, ever evolving, sometimes comfortable, sometimes challenging, sometimes hard as the dickens. Imagine waking up every day excited to see what comes next. What will happen today? If I just get out of the way—if I just do my 10% and let life do its 90%--who knows where it may lead. That is the adventure of a human lifetime.
In the Spirit,