Wellness Pearls

16 March 2023

How Dare We Expect it to Work the First Time!

If peace comes from seeing the whole, then misery stems from a loss of perspective.                    Mark Nepo

The source of so much stress in my life and the folks I work with is the expectation that whenever we pursue something, anything, we expect it to go off without a hitch.  For those of us who have been on this planet for a few decades or have flown on US airlines recently, we know in our bones this is not how the world works.

I heard the magnificent philosopher Mark Nepo say, “How dare you expect it to work the first time!”    This simple statement has had a profound effect on me.  Somewhere, I learned to demonize challenge and difficulty, and this is where my growth mechanism gets severed.  Nepo’s single statement helps me see that I am not entitled to easy, obstacle-free living.   Now when life gets rough, I can return to this sentiment repeatedly and apply it to many contexts:

  • Canceled flights/being late/getting lost/traffic
  • Illness and scary diagnosis
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Disappointing meals, friends or haircuts
  • Not getting the __ I want

Who am I to expect smooth sailing?  This sits at the very center of life. Accepting the messy world–as it is-rather than pining for what we wished it would be.  This declaration, “How dare I ___” helps me stay grounded without being “ground down.”  It has changed everything.  What do you do when things don’t go according to plan?

Wellbeing Resources

Words matter-a beautiful change in perspective, changes everything.

Perspective-changing Live feed of watering hole in Namib Desert (Namibia)

Live 24/7.   Can’t sleep?  Drop in to see a wild array of animals in the wild, I’ve seen zebras, porcupines, wildebeests, warthogs, ostriches, birds, and night creatures I can’t recognize. The camera has a microphone and night vision, so you’re always connected to this magical and awesome wildlife. Actually, it is quite wild to witness.

Brown Noise to Help Relax

Brown noise – which has a lower roar quality compared to white noise. Brown noise is similar to the sound of a mother’s womb and has the same frequency as a resting brain.  Check it out.

Hector and the Search for Happiness

 An old movie (2014) that I just came across, The Search for Happiness, got 1-star and features a protagonist with unlimited resources who can up and leave his life to fund a trip across the globe to learn from those who have nothing.  Money isn’t everything but it is something when you can take an extended excursion out of your life.  I’m sure that happiness is not what most adults are striving for…it may be more like satisfaction or contentment.  I liked this 1-star, over-simplified film because of the topic and some of its messages:

  • Making comparisons can spoil your happiness
  • Many people see only happiness in their future
  • Avoiding happiness is not the road to happiness
  • Listening is loving
  • Nostalgia is not what it used to be


Stay Well,   Eileen

7 Responses

  1. Sammie Stephens

    Hello Eileen.
    YES! …staying grounded without being ground down. This blog came at the perfect time. Thank you so much.

  2. Mary Margaret Law

    Thank you for this wit and wisdom! Exactly what I needed to hear today – and a great reminder any day. I appreciate you, Eileen!

  3. diana manks

    Hi Eileen. I also try to apply “why not me?” in relation to adverse life events, in answer to “why not me?” None of us are untouchable. Hugs to you!

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