Trust in what's next

Photography by Michael Hull

Photography by Michael Hull

How would you describe the journey of your life? Has it been a straight, smooth road, unfolding before you without bumps or turns, leading you on a predictable path? I’m gonna take a guess here and say that I doubt that has been many people’s experience.  

So if you had the opportunity to find out exactly how your life would unfold, would you?

What if, instead, we could trust in what’s next? Embrace change as an opportunity instead of a trap? Believe that it would offer possibilities that we wouldn’t have considered without being shaken up? What if we could embrace change with curiosity instead of fear? It would be a game changer. 

Picture yourself as a highly successful entrepreneur. The company you founded is changing the world with the innovative products you are bringing to the market. You hire someone you trust to help you run the company only to be forced out. Could you think of this as an opportunity?

I came across Steve Jobs’ commencement speech to Sanford’s graduation class of 2005 on youtube. I’d seen it before but his message was just as powerful, and one I needed to hear again. His messages included, finding what drives you, being curious, understanding that your time is limited.

But his retelling of being forced out of Apple at the age of 30 really hit home. He said that, although he didn’t see it at the time, that getting forced out of Apple was the best thing that could have happened to him.

Have you ever had that thought about a past event? The unexpected thing that came along and turned your world upside down, but now you are so grateful for?

Steve describes the experience of being forced out of his comfort zone as one that allowed him to be a beginner again, one that launched him into one of the most creative periods of his life. He went on to start two new companies - one that Apple would later acquire, placing Steve back at the helm and bringing it back from the brink, and Pixar, the company that brought us the very first computer animated feature film, Toy Story.

The next time you are catapulted from your comfort zone, try looking at it in a different light. Look for the opportunities, the possibility of being a beginner again. Choose curiosity over fear and trust in what’s next.

Maybe your next adversity will be a whopper. If you’re really lucky it will be the one you point to later and state with the voice of certainty, “That thing I thought was so terrible at the time…that thing that seemed like such a disaster…that was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”