Several years ago, I heard a speaker make the following statement: “We can expect to have an emergency of some kind, whether work or personal, about every 90 days.”
When she first made this comment, I thought it was an exaggeration. If this were true, it would mean we are in constant peril because bad stuff is happening frequently.
She went on to explain the possible emergencies that might take place …
• Your company may announce layoffs, and you are part of the group that will be rightsized.
• Your son fails to qualify for a scholarship that would pay for most of his college.
• You are diagnosed with an illness that requires further evaluation.
The more I thought about the potential for emergencies in my life, the more I realized she was right.
Of course, we can also expect an equal or larger number of good things to happen during that time. However, it seems like the negative stuff is more front-and-center.
Navigating Life’s Corners
When teaching Project Management courses to my clients, I have a slide discussing the topic of known and unknown risks, and it goes something like this:
• Known-Unknown Risks: These are risks we know will happen, but we just don’t know when they will take place. For example, we know someday we will receive a medical report that is less than ideal, but we are unsure if that day is tomorrow or 20 years from now.
• Unknown-Unknown Risks: These are the events that catch us completely by surprise. There is a knock on the door from a police officer informing us that a loved one has passed away in an accident.
The benefit of Known-Unknown risks is we can prepare for them. Continuing with the medical example, there are actions I can take today to live a healthier life.
However, the scary part about Unknown-Unknown risks is they are unforeseeable. There is no contingency plan I can implement. At this point, the only option is to react in the most reasonable way.
I’m aware life can be a rollercoaster ride. The good thing is I have control over how I will react to situations that take place in life, whether they are good or bad.
As a business owner for many years, I’ve learned that a calm reaction to anything that happens is important. Regardless of what happens in front of me, I want to keep a composed and measured demeanor.
This approach works for me because it keeps me centered.
The other notable benefit here is I can appreciate the good stuff in life … live in the moment.
Knowing that crazy stuff will happen in the future, this collected demeanor allows me to seek the guidance of the Lord to deal with the situation.
Finally, I spend more time looking forward to the beautiful things life will bring to me in the next 90 days and less worried about the stuff I cannot control.