I once heard the adage “You’re never in the room when your career is being decided…for you.”
Sad. Scary. True. Insightful.
One of the greatest learnings I’ve synthesized in my three-decade career is the value that emotional agility and mental flexibility plays in our lives.
We all create expectations in our minds, real or imagined. Based on fact or fiction. Built on evidence or assumptions. And then we make plans and progress accordingly. Many of us then become so entrenched, complacent even, within those expectations that our worlds are rocked when something changes.
Massively disrupted. Violated. Modified. Questioned. Even tweaked a small bit.
Can’t you hear yourself saying, “But that’s not what we agreed to”?
Welcome to life and our new normal—little is based on what we agreed to. Times have changed, forever. For many of us, life is both unrecognizable and unfathomable.
And some of us crash emotionally. We can’t intellectually or emotionally comprehend the change or that what we thought would happen won’t. Ever again.
This relates to every area of our lives including our careers, personal budgets, relationships, and even our marriages. Our religious foundations, interest rates, and how and where we shop, eat, and play are all changing. Significantly. We’ve built expectations in our minds, and when they change or don’t unfold as we imagined, many of us haven’t built or exercised the emotional nimbleness to pivot.
Here’s some advice: going forward, don’t expect anything to be as you thought.
Expect everything to change, and when it doesn’t, you’ll be pleasantly delighted. Anticipate that what you thought was set will move. That most everything you trusted will perhaps be violated. That policies, commitments, and promises will change, often by necessity.
It’s a storm, so put on your best emotional gear.
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