Fighting Through Disruption
The past 15 months have delivered enough disruption and damage for a lifetime. It began with hurricane Dorian and hasn’t let up as we head into 2021. Dorian caused flights, cruises, and vacations to be canceled, but worse, property to be destroyed and lives to be lost. Fires in the west, floods in the south, earthquakes in Central America and COVID-19 around the world caused havoc. Add to that the rioting, ransacking, burning and violence in the streets and nothing short of calling it a terrible time fits. So many people are saying good riddance to 2020, but 2019 played its own part in this difficult period. And guess what folks… it ain’t over yet! 2021 is promising to come in like a lion. Let’s hope it goes out like a lamb!
Prior to all of this, had you ever had your vacation or business plans surprisingly or suddenly altered? Hurricanes have a way of doing that. And to think that was the tip of the giant spear entering the heart of the world. We have experienced one monster after another. For those who have survived life will forever be altered. The same goes for most of the remainder of mankind because only an elite minority will not be dramatically impacted.
The unexpected is likely to happen again. It may not be an act of Mother Nature that catches you off guard but could still be very impactful. You’ve heard the expression “expect the unexpected”. Thinking about that expression makes one think what it really means and how (if we did that) it would affect our lives. The concept seems unrealistic… though it sounds great to be able to expect the unexpected. If you were able to do that, there would never really be any surprises. But how rational is it to think you can be prepared for sudden disruptions in your personal or business life? Though they occur, planning for accidents is not normally how you likely operate. Indeed, accidents are mishaps.
Not wanting to over-simplify the concept, but unable to comprehend it any other way, expecting the unexpected can have all kinds of negative consequences. First, if you are a planner or goal-setter, you are not likely to build unanticipated events or results into your plan. What kind of a plan would it be if you did? Would it be a focused plan with all the right ingredients to get you from A to B with the shortest route and timing? Of course not! So, if you do want to be one who anticipates the unpredictable you are also likely a person without a plan or someone who books multiple flights for each trip, just in case one route gets shut down. In addition, might you be someone always looking around for what is coming next? Thinking of that concept creates an impression of an environment that is a breeding ground for worry. As we all know, worrying is not a good thing.
So, what are you to do then, when the unforeseen is inevitable and will change your course in only a few pounding heartbeats? Should you be a cynic and continuously look around for what may happen next so to be better prepared for the surprise? Why then plan and focus on a specific goal if you know that major disruption could occur at any moment? Wouldn’t it be better to just relax and allow whatever happens to take you where it takes you and not plan or worry about any of it? The words “be flexible”, “course correct” and “keep moving forward” come to mind as wise alternatives. Have you ever known someone that became angry with you because you were goal-oriented and moved forward with some plans without his or her approval? The outcome of the planned effort (key words) was outstanding and “game-changing”, but because he or she was not involved, they were upset by your actions. You may have heard something like… “I just let it happen, but you have to make it happen. In the end we get the same results.” We know that without both planning and effort there is not much chance of that being true.
Significant accomplishments may transpire without planning or intention from time to time, but not often. They are called accidents. The mindset of doing the “right things and good things will happen” is more the notion to prescribe. Having set a course and being knocked off course from time to time is a more productive mode of operation than having no course set at all. You could say… “If you don’t know where you are going, you can never be lost”. You don’t believe that do you? Setting expectations for yourself and then working to attain them seems a much greater path to take than allowing yourself to be tossed about like debris in the wind. Yes, the occasional storm will alter your path, but without making plans for the trip you may never partake of that once in a lifetime experience.