You Are the Author of Every Next Moment

You Are the Author of Every Next Moment

Sponsored Content From Power Press


"An event itself is just an event; the way you respond to the event determines its outcome in your life."

Our destiny is not fixed. It’s a moving destiny, one that we constantly influence and shape as we move along our path toward enlightenment.

Your destiny is constantly changing according to your actions. You create your future by how you are being at every moment. Not completely—the earthquake will still come as will the other events in your life. But within that future, we can and do influence our own future. Some of us influence it consciously, some not.

You can be one who creates your future consciously. No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, this is always true: You are the author of every next moment—because you get to choose how you will respond in every next moment.

You Cannot Be Resentful and Happy at the Same Time

An event itself is just an event; the way you respond to the event determines its outcome in your life. The event may have been (actually was and is) to your complete advantage from the first moment. But by treating events as if they are bad for you, you suffer, not realizing that these events were part of the plan to give you strength, wisdom, and good fortune.

The truth is that every good thing you experienced since the seemingly unfortunate events is a direct result of those previous events. Your very existence depended upon the occurrence of those experiences. You may think that’s extreme, but that’s how the universe in which you live works. Another truth: You will never be able to experience complete happiness as long as you carry resentment for anyone or anything. Our mind cannot hold resentment and happiness at the same time.

Everything that happens to you happens for a reason, and the reason is so you can be benefited. As long as you are angry or upset over an event, however, you will be unable to perceive its beneficial aspects. Considering what’s gone before in your life, you may have difficulty with the idea that everything happens for a reason, and the reason is so you can be benefited. But if you want to obtain true happiness, it’s essential that you adopt that understanding as one of the pillars of your philosophy.

The Two Ways We Move Along Our Path

I realize that because of the experiences you’ve had, the lies you’ve been told, the disappointments you’ve had to bear, and the losses you’ve suffered, you may not believe you live in a totally just, completely well-intentioned universe created by Tao that always holds your best interest uppermost in its consciousness. But that’s because you may not be aware that Tao’s favorite tool is adversity.

There are two ways you move along your path toward enlightenment. If your actions are in accord with Tao’s laws, you move along smoothly, almost effortlessly, achieving your goals and fulfilling your desires. If your actions are not in accord with Tao’s laws, you are coerced by obstacles, pain, and unhappiness for the purpose of changing your motivation, your actions, and your way of life to bring you into a state of harmony with Tao’s laws. In other words, if what you want for yourself is not in your best interest or if some part of your awareness needs developing, you will be driven along your path by the application of Tao’s laws in the form of adversity.

Without adversity, there would be no need for effort and hardly any growth—spiritual, mental, or physical. Every day a cool, easy trip to the mall, the tennis court, the pool, the bank, the grocery store, and the health club. Every plan working out. Constant success. In contrast, times of challenge require great effort just to keep on an even keel, and even that is sometimes not enough. Adversity, then, calls forth your best effort and keeps you alert and moving forward on your path—all of which bring you great benefits.

It takes practice feeling in tune with and optimistic regarding the ever-unfolding events of your life. The next time you feel anger or fear about a situation, say to yourself: There is information in this situation that I need. I will search for what I need to know about why this situation is in my life, keeping uppermost in my mind that this is a perfect contribution to the continuing stream of my life.

Again, an event is only an event. It’s how we treat the event that determines what it becomes in our lives. The event doesn’t make that determination—we do.

Adapted from That Was Zen, This Is Tao: Living Your Way to Enlightenment by Chris Prentiss. Learn more about the book.

Sponsored by: Power Press

Power Press publishes fine books on spirituality and personal growth, including Zen and the Art of Happiness and That Was Zen, This Is Tao: Living Your Way to Enlightenment, the newest book by world-renowned author Chris Prentiss.

You Are the Author of Every Next Moment

Enjoying this content?

Get this article and many more delivered straight to your inbox weekly.