It’s 7 a.m. and your day has just begun. You tell yourself that today is going to be a great day. You conjure this thought as you make your way to the bathroom, only to have toothpaste fall onto your freshly washed pajamas. What wonderful few minutes of positive energy that turned out to be.
Ignoring the gigantic minty stain on your shirt, you decide to make some breakfast. After pouring your cereal, you reach for the spot in the refrigerator that should have been milk. You glance at your roommate and see that she’s enjoying her cereal. At this point you’re fed up with these minor mishaps. It will only take the Wi-Fi connection continuously dropping throughout your midday Zoom class to make matters worse. The robotic sounds transmitting from your laptop make your skin boil as you try to maintain a positive mind.
While all these circumstances were created for the purpose of this article, they all could’ve easily occurred to anyone of us. I’m sure a few may have happened to some of you before. Life, quite literally, is the ultimate lesson. It often likes to throw out difficult tasks and situations that we never seen coming. These tosses can be anywhere between what was said above — minor instances that make life a bit more difficult or completely life-changing instances that require more adjustment than being kicked out of Zoom.
Some things are simply out of our control. As much as one would like to maintain a steady amount of vigilance within our daily life, it often sucks the nature out of being spontaneous. The spontaneity of a college student makes life seem bearable. Being able to say, “Let’s go to San Francisco this Saturday” with a roommate or friend is what keeps a hardworking student sane — even if that roommate caused some annoyance by drinking the last of the milk. After all, constant vigilance will not keep us from getting hurt from life’s unexpected realities.
I know for me the uncertainty of the future has always been a sore subject. Simply stated, I was fearful of the twists and turns that life takes to reach the other end. However, in the last month or so, I’ve noticed a shift within myself. This change is what has allowed me to be rid of this fear of change and challenges. We can never expect a failed connection, family problem or global pandemic for that matter. We can, however, adapt the ways in which we respond to such situations. Changing our perspective on the things we can’t control is crucial not only for future mishaps, but for our positivity rate.
Like I said previously, life is our greatest teacher. If only there was a class offered to learn about all the ways to manage such curveballs. Unfortunately for us, we’ll have to learn it ourselves from countless trials and errors.
There are many approaches for finding acceptance in the things we can’t control. What I’d say is a good first step is laughing at ourselves when we find ourselves becoming irritated. Taking yourself too seriously during situations that are out of your hands is what leads to negative emotions that can be controlled. So, take your first step today by zooming out of your life just for a second. Does your situation make it seem like the world is crumbling or is it just an inconvenience?
As Taylor Swift once said, “Expect the unexpected but celebrate anyway.” So the next time life tries to test your limits, celebrate the way you responded.