There is an expression that human beings plan, and God laughs. The expression highlights the fact that we don’t know what will be tomorrow. Things happen. While it may be true that we will be surprised by something in the future, we still make commitments, we attempt to reach goals, and we do our best to stay grounded while chaos ensues.
How can we better manage surprises? Flexibility is key to managing time, adhering to schedules, getting along in relationships, and coping with loss.
Some people just go about their routines, despite disruptive events. Sometimes working with blinders on like that can be good, but sometimes, we need to step back, assess the situation, and take another course of action.
When something thwarts your plans, ask how you can alter your activities so that the outcome is still good or even better. There is another saying: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
These common expressions are aligned with the basic idea of flexibility. Planning may be good, but never expect everything to go exactly as you hoped. Be ready for anything. And when things become chaotic, think of ways that you can–to use a cliché–go with the flow. Flexibility in all areas of your life is key to coping with stress. Life is, as they say, is what you make it!