If life were perfect, everything would go according to plan and nothing unexpected would ever happen! Unfortunately, that's not life, sometimes the universe will throw us a curve ball and makes us want to pull our hair out. Sometimes this happens when our boss gives us a big assignment right when we are about to go home, or when you are driving and you get rear ended, or when you're working on an essay and your laptop crashes, etc. Sometimes we allow these events to causes absolute havoc to our day. When we're caught up in the moment we tend to think that the issue present in front of us seems massive, and almost certain to cause total chaos. However, if we took a deep breath, and followed a couple of strategies, we can quickly reduce these events to be insignificant in our minds.
"We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.” - Charles R. Swindoll.
I am going to give you my six personal strategies that I use to deal with what life throws at you.
1 - View your obstacles as steps
Thomas Edison was often ridiculed as he failed over 10,000 times before developing the worlds first working light bulb. When asked how it felt to fail 10,000 times he simply replied, “I didn’t fail 10,000 times, the light bulb was an invention with 10,000 steps”.
Failure can be a great teacher. The greatest moments in life are not defined when we succeed. Think about it, when you achieve anything what makes it most rewarding? It's knowing that you put 100% of your effort, failed a few times, got back up, and ultimately succeeded. Program your mind to expect steps, after all, since our goals are limitless you may as well set goals so big that they require a few steps along the journey. If you are reaching your goals, without a few small "steps" in the process, then I would urge you to re-evaluate your goals. The worst feeling isn't failing, the worst feeling is reaching your goals, and thinking wow is this it?
In life, if you want to achieve great success, you are going to fail and fall a few times. The important thing is to not take it too seriously, bounce back up and continue towards your goals.
2 - Use your Struggles as Motivation to Take Action.
Sometimes obstacles may be tough, they may beat you down, but the key thing is to move forward from it and take action right away. A strategy that I found useful is to say “So, What?”. These two words remind me that no matter how big an issue seems to be, it is manageable. It reminds me that that life has an interesting way of working itself out.
It is very difficult to connect the dots moving forward. When your connecting the dots moving forward you have no idea what the image is until the very few dots in the end. Only by looking back can you say oh ya, its obvious. However, there is no way, you could have known what the image at the beginning so, don't regret or say I wish I knew that 5 years ago because you can not connect the dots moving forward.
Our life operates in the same manner, use your struggles as a way to grow and become stronger. In addition, program your mind to take action the moment things get tough. That is what separates the winners from the losers. Everyone feels pain, frustration and disappointment. However, the productive solution is to use your struggles, and take action.
3 - Use what is thrown at you to improve your plan.
When an issues arises, do not panic.
Keep your mind calm and relaxed and use this new information to develop a solution. Quite frequently, our solutions are presented to us, but sometimes they are hidden and its up to us to discover them. Its very important to keep a calm mind. Without a calm mind, you will not be able to see the solutions clearly. No matter what is going on around you, as long as you are calm inside you will be able to discover a solution to your problem. When your driving your car towards a destination, do you just drive in a straight line? No, you make minor adjustments as you are approach speed bumps, other cars, people, other obstacles. They same idea can be applied in your life.
Stay Calm and move forward!
4. Don't sweat the small stuff.
Figure out the things that you care most about and focus on those ideals. If you worry about everything that shouldn't matter/is irrelevant to you, you will just harm yourself even more. One great way to do this is to have a great network of friends and family that fully support you. When you are having a bad day, go to them to help make you feel better. In addition to this, try to stay focused on your goals and objectives.
If you post your goals somewhere, you will be less concerned with the minor occurrences that arise. You’ll see the problems come up, but they will be of no real concern to you.
5. Talk it out
When someone unexpected occurs in your life, you should go to your close network and talk out your problem. Allowing yourself to express your emotions in a safe manner is critical to your mental health. Sometimes, its not even about finding a solution when your talking, but the the simple action of speaking with someone else. When your caught up in the middle of your problem, sometimes the issue can appear huge. This is often because you have attached emotion to your issue. When you bring someone with a new perspective, it will bring fresh ideas.
6. Imperfections are Perfect
Lets be honest here. No one's live is completely perfect. Everyone has their issues that they are dealing with, and no matter how perfect someone makes their live seems I promise you everyone has their issues. Understand that not everything will be perfect/great. Just as there are many good times there will be bad ones. Set yourself up mentally to comprehend this and the next time something wrong occurs, learn from it as healthily/best you can to grow. Be happy with yourself and no matter what happens, make sure that you are living a life where you are happy
George Dhanjal is a McMaster University graduate. He is currently enrolled at teachers with dreams to eventually become a high school teacher. George has a huge passion for athletics and plays wheel chair rugby with the Burlington Rugby Team as well as the Burlington Wheel Chair Basketball League. His incredible enthusiasm is apparent the moment you speak to him. He is always smiling and is always willing to help a friend out. He is a writer here at drivenfighters; George is a perfect representation of what a driven fighter is.