The ability to roll with the punches that life throws at you is an undervalued skill. When trying to undertake some venture there will ALWAYS be curveballs. I think of the movie ‘Major League’ and slugger Pedro Cerrano. He could crush the fastball, but whiffed at hitting the curveball.
For many of us we are able to hit the fastball well, the expected things that come up, the things we have planned for. What sets people apart is the ability to hit the curveball, to adapt and crush it even when the our perfect plans seem to fall apart.
I have experienced so many curveballs in my life, from the day to day to major life shifting ones. I don’t hit them all, but I have come up with a “go-to” strategy when something does come up.
Breathing is a huge thing for me. It helps me to get rid of any extra emotions. Those pent up frustrations, worries or anxieties that can hit like a 250lb middle linebacker. Simply breathing helps me to refocus my energies into what I can control.
After I have refocused I go through a series of questions. These questions help me to bridge between my feelings and the next step. They are something like this:
What can I control?
Why does this change the plan?
Why am I______ (frustrated, anxious, disappointed, etc.)?
(Then, I take a moment to reflect on this quote from the wise man, Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan, ‘till they get punched in the mouth.”)
What is the biggest win I can still accomplish?
What do I need to do to accomplish it?
New Game Plan
Then I begin to piece together the fragments of my former plan, assess what resources I still got and look for a new game plan that accomplishes the most possible outcome. I freak out sometimes, and I don’t always get it right. You won’t either. Learn from the past mistakes to help you plan for the future. Be flexible, learn to adapt on the fly and roll with the punches. Soon, you’ll hit the curveball.