There's often a vast gap between expectation and reality. Fuelled by blind anticipation and assumption there's every chance we can push possibility well beyond its imaginable boundaries. Crushing disappointment can be the result.
But it need not be so. When we weigh up what we have against what we think we should have or what we thought we would get, the shortfall can be obvious. Defeat waits in the wings for those who find themselves caught in no-plans land.
A mix of common sense, preparation and life's lessons learned can make all the difference. The happiest and most fulfilled people are those who appreciate what they have and then work towards that which they want while accepting that life can be very unpredictable.
It's the knowledge that things could always be better and brighter that should encourage everyone to keep pushing ahead.
There are days when that attitude will drain us of energy, crush our enthusiasm and cast a shadow across our perception of our future. Those are the days when we need our survival instinct ... and everyone has a survival instinct; a sense of self-preservation.
There will be days of introspection when we find it difficult to appreciate and understand that there is strength within. Help is never far from reach but it may become necessary to drop shields and guards and allow it into our lives.
- Gary Bentley is a Rural Aid counsellor.