If you lose control of your situation or time, do what you can to live in the moment and make the situation fun. Look at the bright side, drink a glass half full and turn it into something you can appreciate and enjoy. At the very least, every moment in life has an embedded learning opportunity – it should not be too difficult to make everything that happens to you count. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of mindfulness and optimism. Crack jokes, puns or witty comments. Make faces if that’s your thing. Whatever it takes to polish a dull moment and give it to some shine. Those who cite you as unprofessional do not deserve your time.
In college, sleep deprivation and stress pushed my heart to the edge and sent me to the doctor one too many times. I’ve made very long strides to take better care of myself since then. Lately, I’ve been sleeping an average 7.8 hours per night if you’d believe it. I’ve always tried to be a badass and keep things cool in spite of the pain. Looking back, the number of times I boasted to peers about all-nighters makes me sick. Anymore, I keep it as cool as possible for my health: playing things down and taking situations less seriously has the magical effect of helping you actually take situations less seriously.
Over the years, I’ve learned one thing about personal investment in your job, projects or activities overall: you can give it all of your time or give it all of your stress, but not both. The cumulative tax on your body and mental health is not sustainable. If you find yourself stressing out about your work, give it time away. If you find yourself completely entrenched in working hours, find whatever way possible to breathe and relax as often as possible.
If you can’t find a way to be at peace with the way you’re spending your time, start considering serious damage control. Life is too short to sell your time, health, happiness and your soul.
The grass may not be greener on the other side. Always scout the other side, just in case (if nothing else, enjoy the hike). If it isn’t lush, you can find another hill (really difficult for most people to do) or build irrigation to make your side of the hill greener. A bit of manicuring and watering goes a long way.
Or you will stand up and fight the good fight. Take the punches as they come. Press forward. Move on. Absorb the pain and let it make you stronger. Survive the assault and win. You can outlast pain if you chose to. Outlast heartbreak. Outlast stress. Outlast depression. You can come out on top. And when you do, nothing like it will slow you down ever again.
Time may not heal all wounds; endurance can.
Life is full of transitions. Each step bleeds into the next. Want to increase the odds of a great next step? End the previous step on a good note and carry that sense of accomplishment forward.
Never end on a bad note. No matter how painful, it’s worth the fight to make things right. It’s worth the energy and time to end things well.