Dare To Live Without Limits Week of 9/13/2021

Bryan Golden

Life is messy and requires navigational skills

Life is what happens while you are making other plans. I have devoted a lot of space in this column to planning and goal setting. Reality offers an endless barrage of diversions, detours, challenges, and obstacles. This fact doesn't negate the benefit of preparation. It simply requires an understanding of the type of forces at work.
A sailor would be remiss if he didn't understand how to handle storms, currents, tides, sandbars, fog, and darkness. Although the sailor has a clear destination in mind, the sea has it's own characteristics that can't be avoided or overcome. Should a mariner deny its existence his time afloat is certainly limited.
Just as the seasoned mariner recognizes and comprehends the behavior of the ocean, you need to accept the existence of life’s surprises. Once you do this, you will enhance your ability to successfully navigate the sea of life.
What should you do when your day becomes messy? How do you weather storms and avoid being derailed by obstacles. How do you respond when your plans fall apart? What strategy is appropriate when you feel things are going from bad to worse?
A messy day is no more unusual than waves on the water. Just go with the flow. Don’t panic or despair. Problems will be resolved and pass. With time they will seem insignificant if they are remembered at all. Accept messy days as normal and a fact of nature. You can’t stop or prevent them but you can ride them out.
Imagine walking down a bowling lane while people were bowling. You had no choice, you needed to get from one end to the other. What would you do? If you were to panic and stand still you would surely get hit by a bowling ball. To avoid injury you would need to keep moving while constantly changing direction to avoid oncoming balls. Yet you would always have the other end of the lane in sight.
Employing this strategy you would make it to the end of the lane unscathed. You begin each day at one end of the lane. The far end represents the end of the day. Some days there are no balls being thrown at you. Other days they are non-stop. You life is no more than many days lined up in a row. If you get through each one, you get through life.
There are those days when everything feels like it’s going down hill fast. One problem is followed by another. You barely have time to catch your breath. So be it. It happens. The challenge is to maintain your attitude in the face of this barrage. This isn’t easy. But if you don’t do it you risk becoming overwhelmed.
Separate the issues. Deal with each one independently. Choose a course of action for each, take it, and then move onto the next one. Don’t analyze things to death. Make a decision. If you don’t, someone or something will make it for you and it may not be one you are happy with.
All the problems together are like a big box filled with bricks. Trying to move the box while it’s full is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Take one brick at a time and you can move any size box regardless of what it weighs when it’s loaded to capacity.
These are just a few suggestions. Find the one that works for you and stick with it. You have to get through each day anyway, so you may as well be an active participant. If you through your hands up in frustration, you throw away your rudder and make yourself vulnerable to drifting out of control.
Life is messy. Develop techniques to make the best of things and do what it takes to get the most from each day.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2021 Bryan Golden


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