Almost a decade of education later, you finally have your professional degree. Up till this point, much of your existence was probably consumed by planning — for finals, practicals, competencies, standardized tests, interviews, the list likely goes on and on, if you are like me. As graduation festivities end and people move on with their own lives, it becomes apparent that what worked in the past — planning out everything meticulously — may not work in the future.
Of course, there are things that must be planned. Your finances and goals, where you want to live and what type of practice setting you’d like to optimally be in. Trusting the timing of your life is a more philosophical and sometimes vague concept.
For me, it was about believing that things will unfold in my life at the right moment, even when it might not align with my initial plans or expectations. I recently relocated from New York to South Dakota. That was not part of any of my initial plans. Here’s what I learned from this most recent part of my journey:
• Patience: Trusting the timing of your life often requires patience. Understand that not everything will happen when you want it to, and that’s OK. Chasing what you perceive everyone else has can often be to your detriment. You never truly know what’s going on in other people’s lives, so assuming they have it better than you is very often an incorrect train of thought.
• Adaptability: Be open to change and adapt to unexpected circumstances. Sometimes, the timing the universe has in store for you is different from your own timing. I never thought I’d be getting married at this point in my life and had fully embraced the idea of living solo.
• Learning and growth: Embrace the idea that life’s timing can offer valuable lessons and opportunities for personal growth. Sometimes stretching boundaries that you’ve put upon yourself is the only way to truly expand your horizons and see what you’re capable of.
• Acceptance: Learn to accept the things you cannot control and focus your energy on what you can influence. I learned quickly the only thing I could control was myself — both in my personal and professional lives. I couldn’t control others and what people thought of me; I could only control my responses and actions.
Trusting the timing of your life doesn’t mean being passive; it means finding a balance between acting towards your goals and accepting there are factors beyond your control. Remember that you cannot connect the dots in life looking forward. Only when you reflect on the past can it become apparent everything truly did happen in the way it was meant to.