In an ideal world, we could easily predict and control the outcomes of our life. When we’re the fastest runner, then we win the race. And when we’re the strongest warrior, then we win the battle. But life is not always so tame and reality regularly bursts the bubble of our idealistic expectations.

There is a way life works. And, generally speaking, we get out of it what we put into it. For instance, hard work typically comes with beneficial payoffs.

But this general principle is not a formula to guarantee certain outcomes in life.

For example, being talented, gifted, and credentialed typically opens many doors professionally. But this is not always the case. And sometimes we’re still overlooked and someone else, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, gets the opportunities that would otherwise been ours.

Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and following sound medical advice certainly makes living a long and healthy life more likely. And it’s true we’re less likely to get sick and suffer from severe illnesses when we take care of ourselves. But even if practicing perfect hygiene was possible, this still doesn’t guarantee we can prevent all sickness and disease.

Likewise, of course, it makes sense to engage in thoughtful and nuanced conversations addressing the many social problems of our communities. But it’s a mistake to assume we can eliminate all social ills by simply passing enough laws or policies, or by running enough public service announcements to this end.

Whatever it looks like, reality often pops the bubble of our idealistic expectations.

This is not to suggest we don’t put in the effort to move toward better. We’re sure not to win a race if we never train.

But we must not take the many benefits of consistent and diligent effort as some type of cookie-cutter approach to life. Life remains too unpredictable and wild to guarantee our personal utopia if we just try hard enough.

By all means, make every effort to move toward what is ideal. And remember to accept reality on its own terms.

Many things are still not as they should be. And our bubble will soon be popped if we assume perfection is the guaranteed outcome of all our hard work.

Photo by Izzie Renee on Unsplash

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