Lately, life has been punching me in the ribs. Every day, something else seems to be going wrong or happening to disrupt my plans. My wife and I joke about how life is turning into just one damn thing after another. But I smile and march forward anyway…to my contentment she is doing the same.
We have developed resiliency in the fluctuations of life. We go forth, get hit, adjust, and move forward again (repeat, repeat, and repeat). I am proud of this. I love that we have developed this for our family. However, it didn’t happen all by itself…we have been working at it for some time now. Yes, to make a resiliency stick, we have to work at it.
However, this was not always the case with me. I remember the days where my mood reflected my present circumstance. My attitude would shift with the wind on whether life seemed favorable or unfavorable. Things would drag me down, and I generally had a hard time recovering. I used to figuratively wander in my life this way…drifting through good days and bad while not being in control of any of it. But things have changed. Below I have outlined just a few key concepts that have helped me roll with the punches. These are things that are time tested, and I use constantly.
Life isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows (yes, Troll reference). Things are going to happen. Over the last few weeks, I have had several small inconveniences (car issues, work changes, plan changes, etc.), and I have had a couple of big issues (health scares, kids sick, house on the market) well. Yet, today I woke up excited to get going with my life. I am inspired and motivated to create the world I want to see out there. I wish you the same vigor!
If you feel that you are in a wandering phase right now, semi-lost, don’t fret. Below are three things I have put into play to take back control and build up my resiliency. Having a strong resiliency is critical to weather the storms of life! Bonus thought: When you model these behaviors, your kids will develop them as well.
1. Don’t take life too personally. What??? If you think that sounds crazy, I may guess that this one will give you the most freedom. We all have our goals for the day, but as soon as we step out that door, we come in contact with other people (things) that have their own agendas. Long story short: We can only control ourselves, and when we collide (interact) with others, stuff happens. When we learn to go with the flow, we give our living space to breathe and adjust. Life is not out to get you.
2. No longer worry about outcomes. Another way to put this is to leave your expectations at the door. Expectations create anxiety and gear us to future thinking. Over investing in our expectations will lead us to habitual disappointment. Our job is to focus on doing the best that we can with what we have. The results will be as they may, but at least we can be content and proud that we did all that we could. This, like the one above, provides peace of mind. We can control the effort but not the final score.
3. Take time to allow yourself to feel good about things. As humans, we are geared to seek out the negative things so we can protect ourselves. It is really how we are wired. However, like all of our thoughts, negativity can become habitual and weigh us down. On the flip side of the coin, we can take a few minutes a day to feel good about things. It doesn’t even have to be a big thing either (ex. You just finished mowing the lawn…take a moment to relish in a job well done…feel it). Creating a habit of contented reflection enables our brain to seek out more of the good in things…momentum (neuroscience has my back on this).
To tie this one off, I will say that I still need constant reminders to do these things. However, every day I am getting better, stronger, and more resilient. It feels good to rebound and land on my feet.
Work to be adaptable, flexible, and RESILIENT! It is the best way to navigate the hectic life.
Photo by Ryan Tang via Unsplash