A Purpose Greater Than our Plans

Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.
— Allen Saunders (quote made famous by John Lennon)

If your circumstances force a change in your plans,
a purpose greater than your plans
can be found in your circumstances.

The question is: how do you find that greater purpose?

1. Assume there is a greater purpose, even if you don't know what it is. This will change your attitude from frustration about being thrown off course to curiosity about what purpose might be in the situation.

2. Sort for the good in the situation, even if it seems bad. Some of the worst situations have yielded the best results over time.

3. Use your senses to see, hear, and feel for signs of something meaningful. Maybe you will meet someone you would not have met otherwise or you will find something useful or powerful for you in the changed situation.

4. Ask yourself: What lesson or learning is here for me? What "gift(s)" might be here for me? What values does this highlight for me?

5. Remember coach John Wooden's adage: "Things turn out the best for those who make the best of the way things turn out." It's your job to turn lemons into lemonade and to make the best of the situation.

The key is perspective! Notice how all the tips involve a shift in perspective, which might include a longer time frame, a wider embrace of life, or a deepened connection with something greater than oneself.

What methods do you use to deal with unexpected barriers?

Please share your thoughts and comments below.