How often have you looked back at a situation that didn’t go your way and, with the benefit of hindsight, breathed a sigh of relief that it didn’t go the way you wanted?

I know I have and I am reminded of this in many ways in my life. Most recently, I was on an assignment with some colleagues that required us to be in Philadelphia for back-to-back days. When nature stepped in with a winter storm forecast that would affect attendance, we made the decision to reschedule the second day to the following week. While doing so was inconvenient and annoying, we barely hesitated—it had to be done. After all, there’s no bargaining with Mother Nature! So, we considered the options and came up with plan B. With the extra days between sessions, we had time to consider how we might add value to the process and came up with a minor adjustment to the original plan. When we went back to the location the following week, we implemented the new design. Doing so led to exponentially better results and fulfilled on our goals to an even greater degree—a totally unexpected silver lining.

Wouldn’t it be great if we treated life’s events like we do the weather?

When it comes to weather we accept what shows up, maybe we complain a bit but, we make adjustments accordingly. Then there are those other times in life when we get stuck on the emotional roller coaster of being happy when things work out the way we want and feeling sad, frustrated and angry when they don’t. Besides being an energy drain, pain and suffering often results when we try to force-fit our desired outcomes onto events that are showing up. Except in the rarest of cases, this is a practice in futility and we are left with is a loss of Freedom.

How much easier would life be if we could accept the unexpected and undesirable situations that arise, with as much ease as we do weather conditions?

Next time a situation that doesn’t go as you planned, try thinking of it as you would a weather condition. Accept what life is presenting and move forward. John Lennon offers a perspective that helped me shift my attitude about acceptance: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” When I considered this philosophy, acceptance became easier for me. Accepting rather than resisting what’s happening in the moment allows us to see that there other options we might not have considered. And, when we have options, we experience Freedom! Have you noticed how liberating it is to accept rather than resist? We invite you to share your experiences in the comment box below.