I didn’t know how to deal with uncertainty. I couldn’t handle dealing with anxiety and stress. But over time and through my own personal journey, I learned to embrace the chaos of life and work. Here is what I realized:
I may not be able to control the outside world but I can control how I think and how I act. So, here are some of my rules that I’ve developed to deal with uncertainty at work and in life that have helped me to embrace the chaos and move forward in life. These are some principles I have distilled that help me deal with anxiety and stress about the future and focus my energy on getting off the fence and moving forward in life. I write about how I am learning to live by these rules in my daily life so as to help me embrace the uncertainty, disorder and craziness of our world these days. From raising kids, to my job to helping my wife run her business – my life is in chaos and I’m learning how to embrace it!
8 Rules to Embrace the Chaos
1. Expect and Accept Chaos
Expect things to change and be uncertain, most of the time. Things will be more chaotic not less. Don’t wait for things to settle. They won’t. You’ll miss out on some great things. Accept uncertainty. Accept the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics or Entropy which basically says: From order comes chaos. As the world gets crowded, more complex and interconnected, it is inevitable that life will be full of more surprises and chaos. Accept it and go with the flow.
2. Say YES and DO New Things
Try new things. Anything. Be open to the world of possibilities. Raise your hand and take a new assignment. Have a passionate curiosity about things. Ask genuine questions. Tough ones. About things you don’t understand. Learn. Get a passport. Get a visa for China, India or Brazil and see first hand what the fuss is all about. Get out of the house. You will never grow if you don’t get out of the house and do something new. Experience something with your own senses.
3. Be Grateful
Adjust your Attitude. This is the best time to be alive. Be positive. Our parents, our grandparents, and our great grandparents had it tough. What we have to deal with is a piece of cake. They starved, struggled and fought for survival. We don’t have to. You can live anywhere in the world you want. You can be with anyone you want. You can work anywhere you want. Be happy with what you have because what you have is pretty good.
4. Adjust My Expectations
Life is tough. Full of obstacles, roadblocks and not so nice people. Not all times will be good. Some will be bad. Other times will be awesome. Don’t expect everything to be rosy, all the time.
5. Put Purpose to Work
Have a reason to get up in the morning. A rationale for doing what you do. A deeper meaning about what you spend your time doing. And do it. Just get in there and do it. Be a craftsman. The person who is so dedicated to the craft that when you are in the zone, you feel closer to being alive on this earth.
6. Be Present
Be in the here and now. Who knows about tomorrow? Forecasting & planning is over rated. Go with the flow. Think about today. Right now.
7. Build Deeper Social Bonds
Do more than just hit the “Like” button on Facebook. Get to know people by spending time with them. Talking with friends or people who are going through similar situations helps to realize that you’re not alone in this chaotic universe. Thousands of years ago, tribes gathered around the fire in their village to share their problems, dreams and ideas. That was cool. We felt like we were not alone in feeling overwhelmed by chaos. Today – no fire. no tribes. no deep personal connections. Throw a party and get to know someone really well.
8. Trust in Myself
You know what feels right in your bones and in your heart. No one else. Experts are no better at predicting the future than you are. Listen to your gut. No expert can tell you what you already know to be true. Our gut, our intuition is the best predictor of the future. Listen to your inside voice. Believe in your self – not any naysayers or “expert”.