There's a short little saying in the English language that is all too common. And, like other phrases which began innocently enough but then gradually became diluted through overuse, this little three-word saying has enjoyed its time in the limelight long enough. Oh well, it's probably “meant to be.” (Oops, there it is again.)
Sometimes, the phrase “meant to be” is rightly used in response to life's uncertainties and coincidences. Yet, too often, it is used to justify inaction and inability to make a decision: “If it's meant to be, that will still be here tomorrow. If it is, I'll buy it.” “It's gone? I guess it wasn't meant to be.” Outcomes that happen through this type of indecision might just as well be determined by flipping a coin. And perhaps – if it's meant to be – the coin will land on heads rather than tails.
What's wrong with the expression “meant to be”? Well, nothing, really. The problem lies in the flippant way it is often used – and the mindset behind that use. Let's call it “lottery thinking.” If it's meant to be, you'll win the jackpot. But until then, you'll keep buying tickets, hoping that today is your lucky day. You'll wait for something to happen, for your life to improve. And you'll keep waiting.
Instead of using “lottery thinking”, let's use decisive thinking. Let's do something, instead of waiting to see what happens to us during our lifetimes. And instead of looking for signs of things “meant to be”, let's look for ways to improve our own lives and the lives of others...then take action. You'd be amazed by what you could accomplish if you didn't let “lottery thinking” hold you back.
Sure, “lottery thinking” can be fun. It makes you feel special when you imagine that such-and-such happened because it was meant to be... just for you. But this warm fuzzy feeling is a poor substitute for experiencing success gained through smart decisions and plain hard work.
Let's stop missing out in life because of hesitancy and indecision. If something is really meant to be, it'll happen. But we shouldn't hold our breath until it does. Otherwise, we might end up leading rather boring lives – and telling ourselves that the reason nothing ever happens is because it just isn't meant to be.