We’ve all made poor decisions that somehow “turned out okay.” We’ve all been subjected to unfair conditions or ridiculous experiences that miraculously “turned out okay.” That doesn’t mean we should use “it turned out okay” as the basis for determining what to do next.
Before I owned a car, I walked everywhere. It was really inconvenient at times, but I turned out okay. Should I insist on walking everywhere from now on? Should I adopt a philosophy that says walking is always the best method of transportation regardless of who you are and where you’re trying to go?
I often hear people say “Well, I never had that and I turned out okay,” whenever anyone points out a new option or resource. Point out the value of doing an apprenticeship and someone will say “Well, I went to a traditional school and I turned out okay.” Point out the value of trying a new venture and someone will say “Well, I didn’t try any of that stuff, but I turned out okay.”
It’s nice to acknowledge those moments when things “turn out okay,” but there’s more to life than merely finding examples of people who turned out okay in spite of not doing the things you’re thinking about doing. Your life isn’t about what “turned out okay” for me or your Uncle Jimmy. Your life is about finding what works for you. Your life isn’t about someone else’s story of “I did X and didn’t die.” It’s about your story of doing what makes *you* come alive.
I once found a silver dollar on the ground while walking to work. I was thankful, but I didn’t spend the rest of my day walking around in search of more silver dollars lying on the ground. I stayed focused on getting to work. I had a purpose for walking and I pursued it.
When you look back on an experience that “turned out okay,” that’s your silver dollar. Be thankful for it, but don’t waste your life searching for more things that might turn out okay. Live with a purpose. Aim for a positive goal. Optimize your opportunities. Go after something that’s better than okay. Then you can look back and say “Well, that turned out amazing.”