Got your plan? Ticking things off? All going well? And then..
Something out of the blue turns up and throws your plans into chaos.
Life is like that. You can plan, plan really well, and then something unexpected turns up. How you react to that unexpected situation or thing will determine a) whether you reach your goal, and b) how relaxed, calm, and peaceful you will be on the way.
In situations like that you have two options:
1. Resist – “this isn’t happening”, “I don’t like what’s happening”, “I will not change my plans” – however, as the Borg (Star Trek) said ‘resistance is futile’ – and as the Buddha said ‘resistance causes suffering’.
2. Adapt – be flexible, accept what’s happening and alter course appropriately.
Change is one of the most consistent parts of life, of the Universe. It always comes, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. So what to do, when change hits your best laid plans?
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” ~ Bruce Lee
The trick is to know and accept that the unexpected may come, and that change always happens. And when it does, to be ready for it – ready to be flexible, ready to adapt.
Here are a few tips on what to do when such a situation arises. By putting these into practice and learning from your experiences, you will become ready and able to deal with anything.
1. Accept – that change is inevitable, that plans can change.
2. Be ready – keep your eyes open, spot things early, don’t sit back and expect everything to come to you. Learn to anticipate change.
3. Act - assess, re-plan, re-prioritise.
4. Decide – once you’ve assessed, re-planned, and re-prioritised make a decision and go with your new plan.
5. Let go and let God – embark on your new course of action and let go of the outcomes. They’re much better left in the hands of the Universe.
6. Have faith – that you are being looked after, and that everything is happening for your benefit.
7. Trust – that it will all be OK (which it will).
Acceptance is the key
Of these, acceptance is the key. Learning to love what is, to fully accept what’s happening, and to be in the moment is one of life’s most fundamental lessons. This brings peace and calm – resistance, on the other hand, brings stress, worry, and anger.
Accept each situation that you find yourself in, and from there change what you wish.
Being flexible is all about accepting and adapting to whatever life throws at you – it is the path of least resistance – it is the way.