Along with the crisp fall breeze that runs through the air in the months following summer comes the stress from the hurriedness of life and the chaos of work. From the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we hit the bed at night, there's something about the months of fall that make our day feel overwhelming.
Perhaps it's the tinge of guilt from an unproductive summer or the worry from an overthinking mind that constantly wonders about how the year will end -- we find ourselves unable to understand how to deal with the chaos of our day.
I believe there is hope. Here are three things that we can ACCEPT right now that will make our day better:
1. Nothing is going to be perfect.
One of the reasons we find ourselves so stressed and overwhelmed with the day is the notion that things ought to be neat and orderly. We expect things not to go wrong. But when they do, we get upset. We cry foul. We look for blame on the economy, in an interconnected world and in others.
The reality is that this concept of perfection is an illusion. We are living in a world where there are millions of tiny little actions all happening at once, impacting millions of others. Things are fast, complicated, uncertain and unpredictable. That's just life.
There is no perfect job. No perfect relationship. No perfect career or business. From the richest person to the poorest person, chaos of life spares no one. And so let's stop trying to expect things to be perfect. And accept things as they are... crazy, random, wonderful, awful and everything in between. Life isn't good or bad. It just is.
By accepting that nothing is perfect, we can begin to feel free in recognizing that the craziness that happens in life is not our fault or the fault of others but just the way life is... imperfect.
2. We cannot control the chaos. But we can control ourselves.
Much of our inability to deal with the unpredictability of life rests with this notion of control. We are affected by the chaos of life because we feel helpless to it, having felt a loss of control over things.
We attempt to control where we live but we cannot control our neighbors. We control the seat on the plane but cannot control who sits next to us. We might even control where we work but cannot control our boss or our customers. We have a tough time controlling our kids so how can we possibly control life?
By accepting that the only control we really have during the day is how we handle the chaos. So why stress trying to control things that are not in our realm of control? Let's redirect that effort to control our boss or our loved ones back towards us -- and the way we think about the situation and the way we handle it.
3. Action create positive emotion.
With so much information coming at us from all of our devices and in the news, from our friends and our coworkers, we can easily get overwhelmed and paralyzed by it all. We get stuck over analyzing situations hoping that more information will help us make decisions. But the way forward is not necessarily more information but more action.
However small, taking action can make us feel great. This happens because instead of things happening to us, we make them happen. Ultimately, by taking action, we get a feeling of certainty and control that we often lose during the course of a hectic day. Seeing the fruit of our results immediately also help to give us the positive reinforcement to keep moving forward.
During the course of a busy day, we end up facing so many challenges that test our strength, our knowledge and our resilience. By accepting that no matter what the challenge, no matter what the uncertainty, we are still able to make choices that impact how great of a day we have and that choice is not up to others who challenge our day but is really up to us.