Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Definitely Maybe

I’m in the middle of reading an e-book entitled, The Book of Maybe by Allison N. Carmen and it has reminded me of the power of that word, MAYBE, and how if I can learn to live my life with all the possibilities that Maybe has to offer, I can significantly reduce the stress of fear and worry in my life.  It is something that I’ve been practicing (and by “practicing” I mean that I often forget and revert to stressing out but I am catching myself earlier and earlier in a situation and trying to take captive my thoughts and change my perspsective).

First, let me state that I have considered myself a “planner” type person, meaning, I liked being prepared and having a “game plan”. I have often not been fond of “spur of the moment” or risk. Now, there is nothing wrong with being prepared, but this mindset often left me inflexible and in fear of spontaneity and stressed out when things didn’t go as planned, which as we know, is often!  Instead of thinking of a “glitch” as an opportunity, I would often take the mishap personally and think that the universe had a vendetta out for me.

In the past few years I have been striving to live in the realm of Maybe, which is simply changing my perspective on the day to day circumstances that happen in my life.  Allison N. Carmen says it this way, “None of us know for sure what life will bring.  What Maybe gives us is the chance to embrace the opportunities uncertainty brings with it and to live each day we do have to its very fullest.

So here’s a hypothetical scenario: One day, I get let go from a job.  I can think of it as horrible and wonder how I and my family are going to get by; or maybe…….I can think of it as an opportunity to look for the job that fuels my passion. I look for and find a position and get hired at a company that I’m passionate about, but I have little to no experience in that field.  I can be scared to death, anxious or maybe…...I can be excited. On the first week of my new job I make many mistakes, get reprimanded for taking too much time doing a simple task, and have no one to eat lunch with.  I can quit, whine and complain and/or beat myself up or maybe……I can learn from my mistakes, ask for help, and make new friends.  After a month or so, I realize a co-worker and I just don’t get along.  I can bad mouth, undermine, pick a fight or ignore him/her or maybe……I can take an opportunity to practice to forgive, have mercy, grace and honor and just be held accountable to my own actions.

The first example of the Maybe life in the e-book is a story about a farmer whose horse runs away.  His neighbor says, “You have the worst luck!” and the farmer replies, “Maybe”.  That horse comes back a few days later with 5 mares in tow and the neighbor says to the farmer, “You have the best luck!” and the farmer replies, “Maybe”.  The next day the farmer’s son is riding one of the mares and falls off and breaks his leg. The neighbor says, “Oh, you have the worst luck!” and the farmer says, “Maybe”.  Within that week, the army comes to take all able men to war, but since the farmer’s son has a broken leg, they leave him home. And the neighbor says, “Man!  You have the best luck!” and the farmer says, “Maybe”.

I encourage you (and myself) to live from this moment forth a Maybe life.  And if someone comes to you lamenting about the circumstances in their life, tactfully introduce the Maybe lifestyle to them as well.  Let’s change our perspective and just say, “Maybe, Baby”.

-Tessa L. Charles


  1. You know I totally agree with this. A life of no risk equals death.

  2. I like the meaning of your "maybe." However, I grew up thinking the meaning was no. In other words, you invite someone to an event and when they say maybe, it most definitely means no! In my culture, it is impolite to say no. This new meaning is going to take some very serious and conscious effort to adopt.

  3. Haha! I think every kid grows up knowing that "maybe" means "no" when you're asking for something! But this Maybe lifestyle is a little different. If it makes it easier for you, then think of the Maybe as a YES! For example, your computer crashes while you're in the middle of something. "Yes! I needed to catch up on my reading/napping/walking....anyway." Enjoy being creative and less stressed about life's circumstances!