I have discovered 4 Life Truths, which are positive ways to deal with the anxiety and stress of life and work. These four truths give me a logical, common sense reason to hope, be optimistic and spur me to seize opportunities in times of uncertainty and chaos:
1. We have always lived in chaos. Life has always been uncertain, random and unpredictable! From world war, to the invention of the Internet, we’ve always had some form of disorder. We may not have noticed its significance. And it was probably not as fast or extreme as it may seem today, or as transparent. And looking forward, things will likely get even more complex and chaotic as the planet gets crowded and entropy ensues. No one ever says, “It’s simpler now”. Let’s get used to it.
2. Chaos liberates us from worrying about tomorrow by getting more focused on what we do today. No one can see the future. Whether it’s the stock market, the housing market or prices in the supermarket, no one can really know what will happen tomorrow. Life is way too complex, interconnected and fast to make any predictions credible. From the security of my job to how my kids will fare in the real world – no one can predict tomorrow. So why dwell on it? Why waste so much energy on anxiety and stress about tomorrow? Why carry so much stress and tension for no reason? This truth helps us to turn our attention to the here and now. Accepting it allows us to focus on what we can do with our time right here, right now!
3. Some of the best things in life happen by chance in times of chaos. Some great ideas, our most treasured moments and the greatest business successes have been born in disorienting times. Think about the time you scored a big career success or met your significant other. Think about that killer idea you had. Think about the last time you had the most fun. Was it orderly? Was it planned? Did you follow an ‘expert’s’ advice? Or did it ‘just happen’? Was it cerebral and intellectual? Or was it emotional and spontaneous? Inviting and accepting chaos allows us to experience something new, fun, exciting and possibly life changing adventures.
4. This is absolutely the best time to be alive where nothing is written in stone and everything is malleable! Right now, somewhere in the world, a kid is on the internet creating the next billion dollar business. He’s not whining or complaining about the disorder. He sees the opportunity in it. Why can’t that be me? We have more choices. I can live anywhere, do anything, and work in any job. A new business can be created in a matter of hours and customers can be contacted in a matter of minutes. As the economies of the world open up, we have a great opportunity to take advantage of them. By shifting our outlook and our expectations, we can be that person creating the next billion-dollar idea.
But it’s not just about the economy. Going through life’s chaos, reveals our true character testing our strength and our ability to be fully who were are meant to be.