About 2 months back, I wore a sweater to a meetup expecting it to be cold that day. But by the time I got in a taxi I realized it was actually super humid and I joked on Snapchat about how I make the best decisions knowing that I'll be sweating in no time. The venue, however, got real cold in a few hours and my partner was freezing to death.
So I snapchatted again telling my friends about it and I get this message from one of my best streak-buddies saying everything happens for a reason.
Now this is one of those things I don't really subscribe to, but at the same time, have no reason to not-believe in either. The more I think about why something has to happen for a reason, it leads me to the question: Who is causing it to happen? Who is in control?
Am I in control?
A lot of times, we find ourselves in situations we aren't in complete control of. However, we do have some kind of control of every situation in most cases.
Like in my example, I wasn't in control when it felt like the sweater was a bad decision. Like, there's nothing I could've done to change the weather, you know? I did have control over how I reacted though.
Last Monday, I happened to be in a technical discussion on microservices with a relatively senior developer and I spotted a major design flaw. I decided to address it by respectfully suggesting an alternate design and the rationale for the same. I din't have much say in that aspect, but I tried to make him aware of the flaw - that's the least I could do and I did it.
Taking control when you can
Sometimes, however, we do have considerable or even complete control over the situation. This is when I think it's important to take a conscious decision on whether to take control or not.
When you consciously take control over something, you accept and acknowledge responsibility of the consequences — be it good or bad — and that can make you pay attention even to little things in life.
If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves. You can gain more control over your life by paying closer attention to the little things.
— Emily Dickinson
And when things don't turn out as expected, it can be a really humbling experience to know how imperfect we really are which inturn makes us more accepting of others' imperfections. This is important, because it's so easy to get drowned in our own accomplishments in this competitive world we live in.
I'm starting to drift off topic now, so wrapping up...
Does everything really happen for a reason? I don't know, and I don't think it matters. What matters is that I make conscious decisions on whether to take control or just go with the flow.