Thursday, January 7, 2010
Getting It Right
"Do you and your wife go to bed at the same time?" I thought it was an odd question, but a friend of mine had heard somewhere that couples who go to bed at the same time have better marriages. That someone even did the statistical research into that off-the-wall fact reflects a trend that I am now seeing from a new perspective. A lot of people want to do things the "right" way. They don't trust in their own capability enough to just enjoy the journey of their lives, they want to check with the experts to make sure they are doing everything in a way that will ensure success.
Until recently, I wanted to see every step of the journey before I committed to the destination. And I wanted to make sure that I could tackle every obstacle along the way without risking failure. Of course there were still surprises along the way, but it ultimately meant that I wasn't taking the path that would be most fulfilling. I didn't trust myself enough to take the journey I really wanted to take. Now I have a strong belief that the next step is all I really need to see, and I don't necessarily need to see it right now. When I trust in my capability as a human being, I can enjoy myself a little more along the way, too.
For the record, my wife and I usually don't go to bed at the same time. We have different sleep patterns and different schedules. And the time we spend awake with each other is largely what defines our relationship. That doesn't mean I think it's wrong for couples to go to bed at the same time, but it seems entirely a matter of personal preference. Just because something works well in one person's life doesn't mean that everyone else should be doing it the same way. And yet, I will admit that I want that comfort sometimes. I want to know how things are supposed to be done so I can at least have a basis of comparison.
The real kicker is: No one actually knows how it's supposed to be. Someone may have made a decision, and other people may have followed along. A whole group of people may have gotten together and agreed on a way to do something. But it all amounts to preference. I believe that people have the capability to choose the best way for them to carry out their life's purpose, and with the exception of a few basic moral principles, it doesn't have to be the same way anyone else would do it. Consulting the experts is fine, but there isn't really any external measure of success that matters. I ultimately define for myself the "right" way to get where I want to be. It starts with trusting myself and taking a step.
For me, it also means trusting others to be a part of my journey. But more on that later.