Things happen

Things happen. No matter what. Things always happen.

This idea has always been an uncomfortable, “meta-level” thought for me to wrap my head around. I keep saying it…things happen.

Seemingly, no matter how much I plan (or do not plan), something unexpected will happen. Regardless of if I sleep in longer or fill out my calendar completely or book everything in advance, there is always the inevitability that something will catch me off guard. This is true in every aspect of the business world.

There is an unknown bug. A customer has an unexpected ask. Something breaks. Your teammate wants to quit.

Something always happens that you are not prepared for.

But this is also super true in life generally.

While traveling, I have experimented with polar opposites of comfort. On some trips, I have everything booked and organized to a tee. I know exactly what I will be doing in each city during each hour over a four day period.

Take the converse. On other trips, I have no idea what I am doing. All I have booked are an arriving and departing flight and I show up and figure things out. It all happens on the fly.

For the record, more often than not, I end up striking a balance between these two extreme states…

But no matter which path I take, there are always (and I mean always) unexpected circumstances. The flight is delayed, the ATM does not work, etc. Something happens.

Things always happen. 

I know I have repeated that phrase often in this essay, but I do that on purpose. I do that on purpose to remind myself that no matter what, the unexpected will be there.

The best I can do in the present is make myself comfortable with the unknown – to embrace errors, mistakes and misfortunes and realize that when things happen, which they will, live through them.

Why worry about things you cannot control for? 

It is of course easier said than done to forgive yourself for stressing…

It is easier said than done to simply go with the flow…

But is that the tax we pay for convenience?