by Anna Krecicki
I strongly believe in the power of living in the NOW: in this present moment, when there is no need to worry about the past or fear the future. The past is the past – there is nothing I can do about it, other than learn from it. The future is uncertain – I can’t predict it, control it, or prepare for everything. I trust that everything always is as it is meant to be. But I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have a plan B.
With so many threatening situations in today’s crazy world, it seems that anything can happen at any time. It seems that our lives could change at any given moment. From severe solar flares and gamma rays to nuclear disasters, and from a deadly pandemic to the return of the mysterious Planet X, the possibilities are endless. There are many scenarios that could prove to be more than just a conspiracy theory or the synopsis of a movie, a TV series, or a video game – they could actually happen. A disaster could strike at any time. It may not be a zombie apocalypse, but anytime soon we might have to face something unexpected. Without giving in to the paranoia, it is wise to have a Plan B. Just in case.
Celestial events, weather anomalies, and human fallibility may lead to catastrophes that could certainly change our lives. Even a short-term power outage can cause a crisis in certain homes. A loss of a job or a loved one can bring about major emotional and financial difficulties. A sudden illness or an accident could create devastating conditions for any one of us. On a personal or a global level, unexpected things do happen and preparedness may save us a lot of headache and heartache.
Even though we don’t know what the future holds, it is always smart to have a contingency plan and prepare ourselves for the unknown – whatever that may be.
Unforeseen events, unexpected expenses, and surprise encounters can throw us of our paths and the consequences can shake us to our core. Granted, we can’t plan for everything, but we can make preparations that will help us stay centered through crisis and handle the challenges easier as they come our way.
Accept the unexpected
Acknowledge the fact that change and unexpected events are part of life and are unavoidable. Life is dynamic, not static – everything is always in motion and everything changes. When you accept this fact, it will be easier to deal with whatever happens in your life.
Drop your expectations
Have preferences, rather than expectations. Going into any situation with high expectations will likely set you up for disappointment. There are circumstances that are simply out of your control, therefore, things may not always go the way you expect them to. When your expectations are not met, you may experience anger, frustration, or a sense of failure. If you have preferences and hopes instead, you won’t be disappointed. More likely you will be motivated to change the things you can change and accept the things that you cannot.
Keep a positive attitude
A positive attitude is a must in unexpected situations. Not all unexpected events are negative. Sometimes, what seems like a disaster, could be a blessing in disguise. A negative event can awaken ambition, motivation, and persistence, which can lead to growth and success.
Hope for the best, plan for the worse
Don’t panic, don’t give into the fear of the unknown. Remain positive and always hope for the best. But as a precaution, plan for the worst-case scenario. And this way you won’t be taken by surprise or stressed if things go awry.
Make a list
Assess your overall preparedness. Take a look at practical matters such as retirement, insurance, emergency cash, first aid kit, food and water supplies in case of a storm or power outage, or even simple repairs around the house. Make a list of the things that need fixing and things that you have been neglecting or postponing. Address the items on your list as soon as possible – without excuses and delays. Make an effort to accomplish at least one thing each week, or even every day if you can.
Draw up plan B
Make plans for different emergency situations and share them with your family, so that everyone knows what to do if trouble strikes. Make sure your loved ones know where the emergency supplies are, where to find important papers (will, life insurance, etc) and how to proceed in case of a crisis. You can practice carrying out the plans a couple of times until everything goes smoothly. Make it into a fun family event – and if anything were to happen, this way the whole family will be adequately prepared.
Always have an alternate plan, in case the first plan fails. This could prevent you from falling into a state of helplessness, fear, and not knowing what to do next.
Start an Emergency Fund
An important step for preparing for the unexpected is to have a solid emergency fund in place. This could be any amount but preferably about six months of your income. This emergency fund will provide security while you recover from difficulties such as a job loss, accident, loss of a family member, illness or anything that might affect your income and your life.
A certain degree of emotional detachment is important when preparing for unforeseen events. Attachment makes you cling to the familiar, and makes you fear letting go. It allows surprises and unexpected events to have a greater negative effect on you. Detaching will help you take a step back from unpleasant or unexpected turns of fate and therefore, to be less affected by them. It can also help you stay calm and in control of yourself, and in a better position to deal with whatever is happening in your life.
Focus on the present moment
All there is is the present moment. Therefore, make the most of it, instead of worrying about the past or the future, thinking about what you lost, or dwelling on how bad the situation is. When trouble strikes, living in the now and focusing on the new opportunities that may come with it will help you see any crisis in a different light.
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