If this past year has taught us anything, it is how important it is to adapt to situations.
Towards the end of 2020 I was prepped and ready to collect data for my dissertation. I had my participants, my protocol and all the logistics good to go, then Boris made his lovely New Year’s Eve announcement.
The country is going into lockdown again. *cue EastEnders music*
I’m not going to lie, I was devastated. I felt so confident going into my study and knew I was playing to my strengths with what I had chosen to do.
So, I wallowed for a few days, ok maybe a week, feeling all poopy pants.
Then I realised that maybe this was a blessing in disguise. Not having the opportunity to do what I wanted and something I was confident in might be just what was needed to start off the new year. This is maybe a metaphor for life.
“Life is suffering” - Jordan Peterson.
It is so important to have a mindset that accepts challenges and setbacks in every aspect of your life. We are too accustomed to getting everything we want exactly how and when we demand them.
Yes, this past year has been shit, we have had to change our daily routines, how we spend our free time and everything in between. The world as we know it has been flipped on its head. If that is inevitable and out of our control, then the only thing left we can control is how we deal with the situation.
Planning your day, your week, your month or, to quote The Rembrandts, even your year, has been one way I have found so helpful in distinguishing what I can and can’t control. Alongside this, finding some sort of activity that you enjoy doing and doesn’t give you that ‘you should be doing something more productive with your time’ feeling that I’m sure we have all experienced. For me this is reading. Here are five recommendations from the past year and I would love to hear from you if you have any other recommendations or if you have read any of these and what you thought.
1. The Parasitic Mind – Gad Saad
2. Irresistible – Adam Alter
3. Subvert – Dan Cleather
4. Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) – Carol Travis & Elliot Aronson
5. The Magic of Reality – Richard Dawkins
In terms of training, I know it is so vital that we follow a structured programme with clear specific goals, however sometimes the goal can be as simple as doing something, whatever that may be. Sometimes that is good enough, if it gives us some form of clarity and feeling of control.
So, whatever situation you are in at the moment, take stock of what you have at your disposal. Accept what you can control, arrange your day to be able to control it but most importantly, control it.