Happy Wednesday! It's been quite the spring for most of us around the country. It seems spring hasn't sprung for so many of us. All I keep hearing is how sick and done we all are with winter. Not that I disagree because quite frankly, I'm sick of the winter weather too. I'm sick of walking every morning with my face mask on because the wind is so bitterly cold and I'm definitely sick of being cold all day long!
Oh, when will it end?
But here's the thing, no matter what we do, we can't rush mother nature. She'll arrive when she's damn good and ready and no amount of bitching and complaining is going to change that fact.
So how do we learn to accept what we can't change?
Wayne Dyer was famous for saying: "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
What great words of advice, right?
But there must be something more to it than that?
Well, yes and no.
The older I get, the more I've come to realize that there are always going to be parts of life that are totally and utterly out of my control.
In fact, learning how to just go with the flow and taking things as they come is probably the most undervalued life skill around.
I'm a person who makes lists, keeps a weekly schedule and always like to know "the plan," whether it be a night out with friends, a family vacation or whose doing the food shopping this week. As a result, I occasionally can get pretty stuck when life throws me a curve ball and unexpected complications arise.
I've worked on this the better part of 25 years sometimes with great success and sometimes with great failure.
The reality is there's so much in life that's entirely out of our control, and keeping ourselves up at night thinking about that doesn't change it — it just makes us anxious and sleep deprived.
If you're trying to go with the flow and worry less about the things in life you can't control, here are a few tips that should help.
1. ASK YOURSELF, "CAN I CONTROL THIS SITUATION?"
It almost sounds too easy, but sometimes merely asking the question is enough to give us a better perspective on the situation. "My flights delayed. It means I won't get home until 2 a.m. Can I control this? Nope." Now you're in a position to accept the situation and move on.
2. CHECK YOUR PERSPECTIVE
Try taking a step back from the situation when you start to feel yourself getting worked up about something you can't change. Is it really a big deal regarding your week, your month, your year? Sometimes it might genuinely be a very significant situation, and this won't necessarily make you feel better, but a lot of the time you'll realize that the thing you're stressing about — liked a rained out pool party — isn't even all that big a deal.
3. ACCEPT THE IMPERFECT
The world is an imperfect place - people, jobs, families, and relationships. And, the sooner we can rid ourselves of the idea of perfect, rolling with the punches becomes far more comfortable. I've found that this one is definitely a lesson that comes with time and life experience.
4. EMBRACE CHANGE
This is a personal tip that took a few major life events to truly understand. As much as I'd personally love it if a lot of things in life stayed the same — like going back to my childhood home for the holidays, or always having the same best friend, the reality is the nature of life is change. Parents grow older, childhood homes are sold, and room is made for new family members. Often life works out in ways we absolutely never expect, and embracing this, rather than fighting it, will make life way more comfortable.
5. HAVE A PLAN B
I've always been a huge proponent of having a Plan A and a Plan B just in case. Facebook COO and author of Lean In Sheryl Sandberg shared a piece on Facebook about the experience of unexpectedly losing her husband. She told the story of how, in the weeks after her loss, she was trying to come up with a plan for her daughter's "daddy-daughter" day at school. A friend of hers stepped up to help, telling her that while he knew this wasn't Plan A, they were going to, "kick the s&*t out of plan B." If Plan A isn't available, run hard with Plan B.
Accepting what we can't change might not be fun, but with time it can increase our quality of life. So embrace the fact that a lot of life is out of your control, and allow yourself to enjoy the journey more!
Have a great week Friend!