March Madness started this week. It’s my favorite time of the year for sports. There are basketball games all weekend long, and it’s very exciting. Even though my favorite team, Illinois, didn’t make the tournament this year, I find myself glued to the television, watching all the games.
As I was watching the games today, I got to thinking: What is the MOST exciting part of the NCAA tournament?
I think it’s the upsets. It’s the teams you never expected to win, knocking off the basketball powerhouses.
Then I started thinking about my life. I realized that even though I love upsets in the NCAA tournament (in fact, they might be my favorite thing), I don’t like upsets to happen in my life. On the contrary, I like my life to happen just as I expect it to. I have a plan, and I like my life to happen according to the plan. I tend to get anxious and upset if things go a bit off course.
Now I think it’s good to have a life plan. But here’s the problem: If I’m too locked into my plan, I tend to struggle in life because the reality is that life tends to go off course sometimes. That’s just the way it is. Just like the NCAA tournament, upsets happen every year. I don’t ever remember an NCAA tournament without any upsets. And I don’t ever remember meeting someone whose life turned out just like they planned or wanted.
Here is something I think is really important to living a happy life: I think we need to expect upsets in our life. Even better, I think we need to be thoughtful about the upsets that occur in our lives, and see if there is anything good that can come from them, or anything we can learn about ourselves in the process.
Discussion: What is one upset you can identify in your life right now? Try to be thoughtful about it. What is one good thing that might come out of this situation? What is one thing you could learn about yourself?