​This post was originally published on Wait But Why.

Some people see life like an ocean. They go where the current takes them.

Other people see life like a ball of clay in their hands — something to be held and shaped and molded.

In an ocean, you’re small and helpless, surrounded by something much bigger than yourself. It can make you wonder whose life you’re even living.

But sometimes, the ocean can lead you to mysterious places you never knew you wanted to go.

Holding a ball of clay, you’re all-powerful.

Your life takes the shape that you give it — and it’s surprising how shapeable life can be when you treat it like clay. Sometimes, you shape your life into something that feels just right.


But if you’re not careful, you might make something you didn’t mean to.

The question isn’t whether life is better lived as an ocean or a ball of clay.

It’s about when is the right and the wrong time for each one.