Being flexible in life

By Kelly Smith | 2/5/17 10:00pm

What better way to support your peers by reading some of their work? A few months ago, columnist Claire Fisher wrote an article about not "over-planning for your future." In it, she talks about the importance of not becoming too attached to any one plan in particular when it comes to making big decisions in life. Not only do I completely agree with this viewpoint, but I also believe it applies to the smaller details of everyday life.

If I had to summarize my entire argument in one phrase, it would be this: learn how to be flexible. I'm not only talking about down the road, I'm talking about right now, too. We all know how life doesn't always work out the way we want it to. We see examples of it all the time: we get more homework than we feel we have the concentration to do, we only have 15 minutes to eat and the line is long, and every single traffic light in the city seems to like turning red when we're in a hurry, doesn't it? Doesn't anybody care that we're clearly having a bad day? Well, aside from some sympathy, why should they? I don't think any of our complaints will affect their decisions too much.

Now, I will admit that this is one of the more difficult aspects of self-discipline I face on a day-to- day basis, and it's so easy for me to be hypocritical about this if I'm not careful. Some people are naturally more patient than others, but no one is immune to those moments where you just want to drop your arms to your sides and sigh. No matter how hard we try, there's sometimes no way to avoid it.

That being said, the best and only thing we can do is learn how to deal with it, how to say to yourself, "Well, this isn't how I planned it, but I guess this is how things are happening now." That's not to say that there aren't times when having a plan in mind is a good idea, but it's learning how to work with what you've got that really makes a difference.

Nobody's an expert in life. If anything, we're all so far from it. While thinking ahead and having a battle plan is certainly beneficial to some degree, there are times when we simply need to accept that things are going in a different direction than what we want. Exactly where that line is drawn, I don't know, and quite frankly, I think it depends on the circumstances. What I can be sure of, though, is how important it is to remember that those curveballs are coming, and some of them are relentless and confusing. It's our job to determine how we adapt in order to hit them.

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