After having Chinese food tonight, I opened up two fortune cookies. The first read: “Your life will be prosperous if you use your creativity.” Kind of what you’d expect from a “fortune” cookie–nothing brilliant or earth-shaking. Tossed that one aside.
The second one, though, caught my eye: “You will find your solution where you least expect it.”
I like that one, probably because it goes beyond creativity, beyond ourselves, beyond the reality in front of our eyes. It tells us to let go, stop analyzing, refrain from thinking that we’re in total control of our futures, our destinies. It encourages us to take a journey where our troubles, worries, fears and dreams might be found in least expected places.
Finding Solutions in the Fortune Cookies of Our Minds
One of the meanings of “fortune” is “good luck,” luck meaning “success or failure brought about by chance.” At first I said to myself “chance. I don’t want my life left to chance. I want to control my journey, my life, its outcomes.” Then I thought about finding solutions where I least expect it and chance took on a whole new meaning.
It’s not chance in the sense of winning the lottery or “getting a second chance.” It’s, again, finding solutions to our problems in the least expected places. It’s finding solutions in the fortune cookies of our minds, those untouched neurons we’ve yet to fire off, the inner light inside the unopened parts of ourselves waiting to be released. It’s the butterfly still inside the cocoon fighting its way out to the sunshine.
I’m watching a movie tonight called “October Sky.” The story is about a young high school kid in the 50’s around the time of Sputnik, the first human-made space vehicle to orbit the Earth. Homer, the high school guy, dreams of rockets. The neurons fire off in his brain as his eyes open wide and gaze at this magnificent vehicle flying at 18,000 miles an hour around the Earth.
Homer and his high school friends try and try and try to make a small rocket that will fly without blowing up. After getting help from others, his rocket takes flight soaring into the sky. For Homer, rockets were his solution. Finding solutions to his “problem”–his dream–came when he least expected it after numerous failures. Yes, he used his creativity to solve the problem but the answer came when he let go, stopped thinking and waited for an answer. And the answer was not revelation. It came in its own time at the right place.
Next time you look at the night sky, visualize Homer, your problems, your challenges. Don’t think that finding solutions in your life will come where you think they are. Like Homer, the solution may lie unexpectedly in an unopened fortune cookie of your mind.