A New Year means that you have probably made some New Year resolutions and plans for 2014. Unfortunately despite the best intentions and well laid plans, things will happen which will be out of your control. Whether it is a marriage breakup, job loss or saving for a home, life does not always turn out as you planned.
When life gives you surprises, you have two options:
1) You can dwell on all the things that went wrong and how you did not reach your goal. This attitude will only make you miserable in the long term.
2) After getting over the initial shock, you can learn to look at the circumstances in a different way and look at what you can do to achieve your goals.
The following examples are based on some real life unplanned situations and what was done to overcome the events.
Joe and Sandra were in their late 50s and Sandra was looking forward to spending some time with her husband, now that their children were adults. Then one Friday, Joe told Sandra that he was leaving her as he was not happy in their marriage. Sandra was left feeling betrayed and hurt. Joe then moved out of the house and Sandra was left in shock as she tried to come to terms with the breakdown of her marriage. Sandra and Joe discussed the property settlement and she became devastated when she realised that they had to sell the family home. Joe had been the main breadwinner in the home and Sandra had worked part time on and off during their marriage. Despite having money for a deposit, Sandra did not have the financial capacity to get a home loan on her own, so she was forced to move back in with her mother. Sandra was left feeling shattered as her world came crumbling down around her.
As Sandra came to terms with her new life, she decided to retrain as a personal care assistant in the aged care industry. She started working and finally received an income which enabled her to borrow money to buy an apartment. Time passed by and Sandra slowly healed from her marriage break up. She started to travel overseas for the first time and she found that she was enjoying herself. Her ex-husband had refused to fly so travelling overseas was never an option in the
past. Now Sandra could do whatever she wanted and she began to get excited by life and the endless possibilities that were available to her.
Amanda was made redundant by her company and she was left feeling angry and helpless. After coming to terms with her situation, Amanda was determined to find a new job. She prepared her CV and started applying for different roles. Every time she received a rejection, Amanda’s attitude was that a better job was coming her way. Her positive attitude kept her focused on her end goal. A couple of weeks later Amanda found herself a new job which turned out to be much better than her old role. In hindsight Amanda realised that her retrenchment was a blessing in disguise. If Amanda had not lost her job, she would have still been stuck in her old ‘boring’ role. Amanda’s new position inspired her each morning as it provided her with the variety and the challenge that she had been craving for.
Jake decided that he was going to buy a house. He worked out how much money he was receiving each fortnight through his two jobs, then deducted all his expenses and found that he had $700 left. He decided to save the $700 in a separate savings bank account, so that he was not tempted to spend it. The first few months were great as Jake noticed his savings was increasing. Then one day his car broke down and it cost him $500 to repair it. Then a few weeks later, his computer died and he had to buy a new one. Jake however, kept focused on his goal and continued to save his money. After a few years, Jake had saved enough money for a deposit. It took him a bit longer than expected but in the end, Jake was able to buy his own home.
Dwelling on all the things that went wrong and giving up on your plans, will only make you bitter and discontented with life. When unexpected things happen to you, initially give yourself some time to recover from the situation. Then keep pursuing your goals and if necessary, make new plans about what you want in life. You are the only one who can make a difference in your life, so why not make it a pleasant one.
Until next time, be safe and keep smiling.