Updated: Oct 4, 2020
Its like we are sitting in the midst of a rickety playground (the world), and these really awful fire ants (the pandemic) won't stop crawling all around us. We are hoping our scabbed up knee is healing (our ego's) and were desperately trying to rip off this ugly, super sticky, over-used bandaid (social distancing/quarentine/economic decline...you name it) that just won't peel up from the skin. SO we mentally pick at it, hoping to grab a strong enough corner and endure the pain all at once quickly, yet the more we struggle and fight to get it over with, the pain is insurmountable and the bandaid starts pulling up ever so slowly. GOSH 2020 is crazy awful and I literally feel like a kid again who has ZERO control over the external situations in my life. I try to keep playing in this playground of hell. I remember when it was once shiny and fun and exciting. However, as I get older I can appreciate old bones, and I know something old and un-shiny, still has great value and extended potential.
I know there's good and stable things to look forward to in life, but right now, this "playground" is in desperate need of some TLC. I am just one person, but I want to help SO bad and I feel like I can't because my headspace is SO clouded and subtle versions of sadness creep in. Every time I seem to pick myself up. whether it's fighting to keep flying for work, or fighting for some version of socializing, or pushing to keep my health in check, that I get smacked over the head with a wave of rocks.
I have preached this before in some of my aviation articles and it can, very much transcribe into everyday life; humans spend a radical amount of time to create stability in their live's. Whether it be financial, emotional or physical, the only way to have that stability is to constantly work at it, or constantly repeat habits, or constantly keep doing the same thing until its successful. Here's one of the most important pieces of knowledge I can give you; THE ONLY CONSTANT IN LIFE, IS CHANGE...
Change is inevitable, progression is a choice. SO, here we go... change makes everyone uncomfortable; if you succeed with change, youre slapped on the back and congradulated. If you flail about, you take the blame for your own actions. So what are some things we can do to flourish and work towards succession during changing events in our lives?
Sustainability is the balance between your enviornment, the economy and ethics. Boring and dry right? Remember, we are talking about things changing in your life. It's important to identify the necessities that need to be addressed on a separate level. Ask yourself these questions in order (I will use Job-loss as an example through out this article):
-What is changing in my life? (I lost my job)
-What, in my life is most effected by this change? (My finances, way of living, etc.)
-What, in my life, do I need to protect from this change? (My house, car, etc.)
-What can I allow this change to effect? (My excess spending habits, vacations, etc.)
-How can I use this change to my advantage? (Find a better job I will enjoy more than the previous one)
You can plug any topic into these questions. For example: What is FINANCIALLY changing in my life? What is EMOTIONALLY changing in my life? What is PHYSICALLY changing in my life? What is RELATIONALLY changing in my life?
Once you know the "what's", then we can move onto the "How's".
PROCESS VS. PEOPLE
So now we know there's some unwanted change happening around us, how in the heck are we going to handle this chaos? Mind you, this article is being written amidst a legitimate world-pandemic so lots of ugly and unwanted change is happening. Most of the time, change is out of our control, but we have to identify what IS in our control; which is the process as to how we adapt. 'People' are the catalyst for creating this change, no matter what. Someone, somewhere, did something to tip the first domino and the ripple effect echoes through your life and many others' lives. It's an over-stated fact, "we cannot change others but we can change ourselves" or "be the change you wish to see in the world" blah blah blah! We also know its not a "snap your fingers" situation. So, lets look at the process. AH! something we CAN control; the HOW. Its time to create a process for your situation and here are the steps:
CREATION | TESTING | OPTIMIZATION
Do the task yourself (re-budget, new resume, job search; each a separate task)
Note down how you did it, not leaving any of the steps out (create templates for each task)
Structure the steps into a high-level overview (take notes)
Break the high-level steps down into smaller items (each task is going to have its own steps to work out)
Follow the processes exactly. (re-budget; collect financials, find budget template, make cuts on unnecessary spending, etc.)
Make edits to anything that needs to be clarified (If you come to a road block, seek a specialist)
Give the process to someone who specializes in that area and have them run through it, making comments on it where it’s unclear. (look for free resources)
Formally implement the process
Allow any edits to be made (changes will happen. example: receiving unemployment to supplement basics)
Review the work created by the process periodically to make sure that the process doesn’t have any holes in it. (Each month check your budget to make sure you are staying within your created process)
Once you have created some clear guidelines as to what steps you can take in order to move forward with these changes in your life, its time to talk it out! (this is where the 'people' come in).
Just as it took 'people' to set this change in your life into forward motion, so does it take 'people' to adapt and flourish in your changing environment. In order to move in a forward motion, transparent communication with the necessary parties' is key. Identify who is involved or secondarily effected by the change occuring in your life, who is able to help you with the transition, and who you need to help in return. There is always strength in numbers to tap into resources around you.
Keep in mind however, if you over communicate, people can choose to tune you out but if they’re not receiving enough information, they’ll likely begin to feel concerned over the outcome and the changes. In that instance, you’ve converted your neutral bystanders into victims. The final key in strategic and transparent communication is interchanging emotions and logic.
EMOTIONS OVER LOGIC
Emotions outflank logic. yep, you read that accurately. People initially act on emotions when change occurs. (see; everything that has happened in 2020 and how the public has reacted). While we are taught the "proper" way to overcome adversity, is through logical thinking and acting, this is humanistically rarely the case. So how do we make these two conflicting natures to harmonize in your situations' favor? By getting them to work together! Both emotions and logic pose amazing strengths by balancing logic and emotion to ensure good decisions, and here are the steps on how to accomplish this:
Remove all prejudicial factors that may impact your choices.
H.A.L.T. from making decisions when you are in certain states. H.A.L.T. stands for the idea that you should never make decisions when you are in a state of the following:
Make a list of pros, cons, and risks. Think about future outcomes.
Finally, search for a happy medium. Let your reason and emotion work together.
All of this back and forth requires a lot of self-talk. So it is important to keep positive affirmations rotating in your head which leads me to the final step in how to survive and flourish in changing environment:
Our words are a vehicle for expressing and sharing our experiences with others, but do you may not realize the far-reaching impacts of the words you use on a daily basis.
How you speak to yourself directly influences how you experience things in life. If your internal self-talk is negative, chances are that your external experiences will be negative as well.
If you want to embrace the change happening in your life, whether you have welcomed it or not, how you speak to yourself and those effected by the same change around you, will directly speak life or death into what happens to you next.
Yikes that was deep. I love Joyce Meyers favorite saying; "where the mind goes, the man follows". Keep your thoughts and words hopeful and positive, and see the change that happens within you along with your external situation.
Keep the shiny side up! - Aubrey