I grabbed the mail from the mailbox the other day and found one addressed to myself in my own handwriting. I curiously opened it and immediately remembered the assignment given by my English professor in the first few weeks of my freshman year of college. Full of hopes and excitement for the future, my younger self expressed pages of ideas of a fun upcoming four years while wishing me well for this (now present) day of her future. I am hit with bittersweet feelings. Half of me smirks at the naivety of this younger self while the other half is reflective of what the past four years has actually brought. Opposite of my prior plan, the past four years have been the most trying, difficult, and telling. At the same time, some of the most exciting, inspiring, and educational. I don’t think we can plan for things to happen, are we ever ready for change? Or do we just adapt as necessary?
I’ve found that over-planning sometimes doesn’t lead to where you may have envisioned. We never know what is around the corner. I’ve come up with a personal survival kit, to keep you ready for whatever life throws your way.
Your survival kit:
- Know your personal philosophy. You can’t prepare for everything or foresee the future. What you can control are your beliefs and attitudes when things, good and bad, happen. What do you believe in? What is your self worth?
- Becoming mindful of your own body and of the world around you will allow you to act appropriately, rebound, and regroup during certain situations. Understand how/why you respond to certain stressors, good or bad news, to the people around you. What do you hold on to?
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Your path is unique to you. No one else makes decisions on your behalf. Keep the focus on you. Which leads me to my next…
- Self love. Being comfortable with yourself in all aspects makes life a lot easier. Being content alone with yourself is so important. Knowing you will be able to get through anything thrown your way creates a less stressful life. We aren’t given anything we can’t handle.
- Gratitude. If we choose to focus on the negative things in our life, we will have little hope for the future. Instead, if we focus on our reality and be grateful for what we do have, our attitude towards our challenges and the future is completely different.
Each day is part of a plan larger than ourselves. Trust the process and enjoy the ride.