Navigating Life's Uncertainties: Handle The Unexpected | Further Your Lifestyle Podcast | #99
Watch on YT: https://youtu.be/dKtPBh1SQdA
How to Handle the Gap between Your Plans and Reality: Navigating Life's Unexpected Challenges"
2-3 Interesting Things Listeners will Learn:
1. The two immediate reactions to the gap between plans and reality.
2. The importance of preparing mentally for things to not go as planned.
3. How to reflect on past experiences to better handle unexpected events in the future.
In this episode we go through valuable insights and tips on how to navigate life's unexpected challenges. This episode will leave listeners with a newfound understanding on how to handle the gap between their plans and reality, and better prepare themselves for the unknown.
Your Next 5 Moves:
▬▬▬▬ CHAPTERS ▬▬▬▬
0:00 - welcome to another episode
1:20 - my 2 immediate reactions
2:04 - a small exercise you can do
3:55 - so how do we go about handling this??
4:20 - Number 1
8:17 - Number 2
11:11 - a book recommendation
12:56 - Number 3
14:15 - Number 4
16:00 - Number 5
20:00 - some overarching things to consider!
23:03 - a quote to finish with
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[00:00:00] Yo. Yo yo. Welcome back to the Further Your Lifestyle Podcast, conversations on lifestyle passions and hustles. My name's Chris Furlong. I am your host and I'm super excited to be back here having the conversation with you, episode 99 today, and we're gonna drive straight into it. So buckle up. There are plans that we have and then there is how life.
[00:00:18] Plays out, and I know this is relatable to everyone because how many times have you thought about, oh, this is what you know I wanna be doing, or you set some expectations of how you expect things to go, and then it doesn't play out how you expect it, right? There's. some big questions around this. You know, we, we have what we want and then we get a different result compared to what we expected.
[00:00:39] And what I wanna talk about in this episode is basically how, how do we actually manage that gap? How do we manage what happens in between of the plans that we have versus how life actually plays out and how do we prepare ourselves? For the unknown in which we're going to have to embark. Regardless, things will go not as planned, and things will change sometimes for the better, but sometimes for the worse as well.
[00:01:05] And that's what we're talking about today. These are all very valid questions and very, very valid things that we need to be considering. And that is today's topic. Not everything will go according to plan. So how do we handle.
[00:01:20] When I think about this, when I think about, you know, how do we go about handling these kind of things, there are, there are two I immediate reactions that I guess come to mind. One, we can never, ever really be prepared for everything. It's, it's impossible, right? It, there's no way that we could know all the alternatives or different path that we could take.
[00:01:38] And secondly is we can be prepared mentally. and understand that things won't be how we expect it. Now, that's where we can take the edge because no, we can't be prepared for every situation. We can be prepared mentally knowing that things likely won't go as we assume they will, or as we expect them to be.
[00:01:57] So if we think about these two things on a smaller scale to help you, I guess, get the same mindset that I'm talking about, reflect on the last week, what you know, what you've been doing over the last week. The first thing you need to ask yourself is, did you prepare for the week, the week that's just gone?
[00:02:12] Had you prepared for that week? Had you set out intentions for that week? Had you set a schedule for that week? Had you followed a routine? Did you have a calendar of bookings and appointments that you were following? And were there anything, was there anything else that was helping you feel prepared going into that week?
[00:02:27] And then the second thing to ask yourself, . Well, how did the week actually go? . Were there distractions? Were there things that you know, took you aside? Were there things that took more time? Were there side quests that, you know, jumped up out of nowhere? Were there things that happened out of your control?
[00:02:42] And I guarantee you've probably said yes to at least one of those things. And that's just one week. So when we, we play that over a scale of a year, you know, 52 weeks, or we play that over our lifetime, there's gonna be a lot of unexpected events that will happen. Now, another thing to then think about here is of the things that were planned versus unplanned for the.
[00:03:02] What things were you able to go with the flow with? Like what were, you were able to adjust and just take on the take on the shoulder and you didn't really, you know, have to worry about it too much. You know, there'll be things there which, yes, things popped up you weren't expecting, but you were able to manage it and just handle it and get it, get it dealt with, right?
[00:03:18] But then there would've been things that kind of took you out of your comfort zone and kind of stress you out, or it might have made you. You know that you were out of control and it, yeah, it, it probably rose a bit of stress in you. So do a bit of comparison around that. And the whole point of this is, as you can see, there are always going to be hiccups and there is always going to be challenges and there will always be things that we know we can manage.
[00:03:40] And there's always things that. We know we can control, that we can mitigate, while at the same time there's gonna be things that will push our limits and push us off an edge in terms of, you know sparking us to be stressed or things like that. Again, the question then being is how do we go about handling this?
[00:03:55] How do we go about managing this and how do we go about. You know, making this not just something that we're reacting to and trying to survive, but being prepared for the things that you know, you never really can be prepared for everything. Be being prepared for that mentality. So today we're gonna be talking about five different ways that we can handle this and that you can handle this, and how you can start to handle it better today.
[00:04:17] The first one being, embrace flexibility. Now again, a lot. Points that I'm about to go through, just to be very, very clear. They do come across as generalizations. They come across as cliches and very, very wishy-washy things, which people say all the time. But the reality is, I share these things. People share these things because there is meat to them.
[00:04:37] You need to be practical in trying to understand and taking a lesson or a learning from them and go apply it in your own way of living, right? If you don't go do that, , I can't necessarily help you any further because I can share this as a medium to you as a way to help you understand some ways of going about handling something.
[00:04:57] But if you don't do anything about it, that's on you. All right? So number one is embrace flexibility. You know, basically the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, right? And this, this is an important skill to have and it does take time. to attain. And it involves actually being open to taking on new ideas or taking on new approaches.
[00:05:18] But it can help us stay nimble in, in the way that, you know, when things do change, we can be responsive in a way that doesn't throw us off our feet. Now I understand that this is easiest said than done. But surprisingly there, there are so many ways that we can be flexible and it's probably, there's probably a lot here that you would not expect.
[00:05:36] And I, I'm gonna take you through a couple of dot points. When I was writing this episode about what I thought was quite interesting was, and after doing a bit of research, was prioritizing self-care. Now are you thinking, how does that actually help you be flexible in the time when something pops up? , if you have self-care, you're going to be managing your stress levels.
[00:05:54] You're gonna be managing how you are able to operate, how you be out, how you're going to be able to make a decision. And if you've looked after yourself, whether it's through sleep with health, you know, keeping yourself fit and ready to be able to execute because you've got the energy to do so, that self-care plays big dividends when it comes to these points of time.
[00:06:11] Being open to change is another one, right? And again, saying that is easier said than done. , building up that tolerance to try a little bit of different things or having a little guess you know, a tolerance for those kind of things. Oh yeah, well, let's give it a shot, you know, and building yourself to that comfortability because over time it gets a bit easier to then adjust to those kind of risks, I guess.
[00:06:32] But at, at first it can be quite difficult. The next one will be learning to say, When it comes to flexibility is knowing when to say no, or knowing when to say this doesn't make sense to do anymore. You know, stop, start and continue. That's a good little exercise that you can do is like, if you need to reflect and things are getting crazy, it's like, what can I stop doing?
[00:06:49] What can I start doing? And. What do I need to continue to do? The other thing is building flexibility into your own schedule. So if you do operate from a routine perspective or your follower schedule is building buffets, building things that give you enough wiggle room in case things don't go to plan.
[00:07:04] Changing your mindset around how you deal with uncertainty. Most of the time we naturally think of as. Think of it as a negative thing, but instead of fearing the unknown, learn to embrace it. Learn to think, how can I take an opportunity from this? How can I leverage this? How can I use it to grow and how can I use it to develop new skills?
[00:07:21] And that's taking a positive mindset on it. The other way that you can do this is approach with adaptability and, and. Asking how, how can we make this work when things pop up? You know, usually we, we get defensive mode and we try and push back and we try and ignore things, but that's usually because we're actually a bit scared and we're not sure what it's going to entail.
[00:07:39] But if we actually approach it with an open mindset and actually think, okay, well what is this gonna take? What is this actually mean and how can we make this work? You can start to. Fitted in and actually it might actually change your life for the better or your circumstance or or whatever the situation may be.
[00:07:55] And the final one for being flexible is kind of like the first one around prioritizing self-care, which is practicing mindfulness. Knowing how to calm yourself down, knowing how to take a moment to breathe and to think before you execute, make a decision, or do anything that you might regret Number. Of how we can handle this is being prepared for the unexpected.
[00:08:15] Now, this is obviously the big, big conversation or the big, big topic of this whole episode, but essentially this is one part of it, right? W while we cannot anticipate every possible outcome I guess we can take steps to be ready for the unexpected. We can build a mentality to enable us to know that, you know, things are gonna come up.
[00:08:33] And that means we need to be willing to adjust and adapt. Have a plan in place that enables us to address it. Right? And coming from a consulting background and project management background, we used, we have a lot of risk mitigation plans. We have, we have contingency plans, we have all those different things, right?
[00:08:49] We have all these things in, in place so that when things do happen, we're able to be open and we're able to accept and we're able to be comfortable in making adjustments as needed, for instance. You know, if, if you are taking on a lot of risk, and this is actually one of the points that we'll talk about later, but if you're taking a lot of risk, having a plan of how you manage that, if that risk comes to being, it means you're happy to then tolerate, you know, it might mean we have to spend $5,000 to fix it, right?
[00:09:17] That's a risk you are happy to tolerate, so, , that's a way that we can manage it, right? So the best way to look at this is probably in the money space, right? How, how can you be prepared for the unexpected things when it comes to your finances? So for instance let's say something has happened. You've had a car accident, and you've cars been written off, and now all of a sudden, You don't have a car to drive.
[00:09:37] However, if you had an emergency fund that you've been putting money aside to on a regular basis, when this crisis or an unexpected event occurs, you've got the money there ready to go. You can use it. You've been putting it away for that rainy day, and it's not going to impact your day-to-day living. And essentially it means this way you have a buffer and I guess a bit of a moat.
[00:09:56] And it'll help keep you afloat. Doing a bit of rhyming here afloat when things get a little fluffy. And I guess the same principles apply to other areas of life. So having an emergency plan when things, you know, especially here in Australia, we have, you know we have a lot of bushfires, especially in summer.
[00:10:11] So we need to have fire plans and contingency plans having your important documents in a safe and sensible place. But there's plenty of other ways that this. Occur or other ways this may include, which is developing a growth mindset, believing that you can adapt and grow from challenges rather than running from them.
[00:10:29] Right? Very, very similar to some of the stuff we've already been talking about, but also building support systems, right? How we can be prepared for the unexpected is building some support systems around us. Meaning who are the people that we can rely on? What are the systems and processes that we have in place that keep things moving?
[00:10:45] But people is the key one. You know, having someone that you. Lean on for support, for advice and encouragement. Another way is having Plan Bs in place for when things. , you know, aren't going to go to plan. We know how to then take the next step. There's a really good book called Your your Next Five Moves and this book, and I'll put all those details down in the description below.
[00:11:08] And that means that like, if you're going into, it's more about business, but if you're gonna go make a business deal, having a few little understandings of like, okay, if they accept this, how do I execute? If they come back and they, you know, they want, want me to pay more or something, or they wanna pay less, how am I going?
[00:11:23] You know, come back at them with a counter offer, or if they decline my offer, what is my next step forward, right? So having some things built into play so that way you're not just getting to your result or getting to your situation and then it doesn't go as planned, and then you're kind of stuck and then you stop and you give up and you think that's it didn't work, so I'm gonna stop.
[00:11:42] Look, that might be the plan B, as it means if it doesn't work out, you're not gonna continue. Having that expectation up front, it makes it a lot more easier to digest and manage. The next one is also managing stress, right? When it comes to this kind of principle around, you know, preparing for the unexpected, when we are managing our stress levels, when we are managing how stress will occur, developing these approaches, I guess it enables us to.
[00:12:06] Move quickly and swiftly when things do arise. Last thing you want is stress taking over, and then you're not able to think clearly, and very similar to this is letting go, especially letting go of things that you cannot control, right? A lot of the time there's gonna be two types of unexpected events.
[00:12:22] It's gonna be things that you can address, things that you can control, and things that you can't. If it's something that you can't control. Like for instance, when Covid happened, you know, there was a lot of things there, which we couldn't do, we couldn't handle. Like we couldn't take it into our own hands and change the circumstances.
[00:12:35] We had to just ride it out outta your control. So how do you continue to move forward without being able to address those things, but controlling the things that you can? Another way that we can handle all this is staying calm and staying focused. I know this in my own experience, but it's very easy to get overwhelmed.
[00:12:53] Anxious when things don't go to plan. But if we can find a way of how we can stay calm or how we can stay focused, it's going to enable you to think more clearly and to make better decisions when the time comes. Now, you need to find a way of how you can execute this. This will be different for everyone.
[00:13:08] Everyone has a different way of how they stay calm and how they can regain focus. For me, like for instance, I love to go for a run. If I need a cool off, if I need to take a chill bill, I can go for a run and it calms me down and it gets me focused. So with the. Mentality. I think we need to think about what are some of the ways that we can do this.
[00:13:25] It might mean going through an exercise of deep breathing. It might mean going to be able to go to a safe place where you can think it might mean. Finding ways of how we can chill out. But some of the ones that I think we neglect the most is, you know, having sleep habits, really good sleep habits, making sure that's blocked out, but also understanding and prioritizing tasks, knowing how to work your day in the right ways so that you're not so stressed.
[00:13:48] And it also means taking breaks. It means writing things down and clearing the head journaling, but sometimes it could be as simple. Having some music to listen to or where your environment is that you're operating from and who you're surrounding yourself with. Another point on how we can handle this is seeking out new information.
[00:14:06] Now, this one look, this one means we are usually doing it. As a byproduct of after being I, I guess, surprised with an unexpected event. But at the same time, being informed as you continue to grow, as you move forward in life is always going to help you. Because the more you're informed, the better you can make a decision, especially when it comes to business or your passions or your hobbies, and even just creating your own lifestyle.
[00:14:32] So this might mean that you, you might have to do some additional research, or you might have to find some new ways of sourcing information. It also might mean you need to ask for advice from other people. I mean, there's heaps of ways we can do this When learning and growing and trying to, you know, have that growth mindset, reading books, reading articles listening to podcasts, it's a great way to get exposure to.
[00:14:54] Thinking about new ways of operating, new ideas and perspectives, so that way when things arise, we have fresh perspective, not just the ways that we've always managed it. Of course, there's other ways that we can seek out new information, which would be from getting some coaching, going to events, networking workshops, seminars, connecting with experts in the field networking within your industry, finding a mentor.
[00:15:15] but I think the, the, the two really interesting ones is asking questions, asking people questions, but also leaning on existing communities, like going back to where, you know, people are doing this. A lot and finding out how they're handling it. So, and a good example of this might be like, if you're about to start a business, you could go ask a community of people, of like-minded, business-minded people and say, you know, when you start a war are some of the things you wish you knew.
[00:15:40] And that way all of a sudden you now know five things that you need to be mindful of and not have to then go out and have to experience upfront. You can find ways to mitigate them in. Now, another way that we can handle all this is being willing to take risks. Now, I alluded to this one a bit earlier and I already started to talk about it, but sometimes when we need to adapt or we're going into new circumstances or changing circumstances, it does require us to step outside of our comfort zone.
[00:16:07] Most of the time it will, and this might actually mean we have to be willing to try something new. And it might mean that we have to be willing to take on a calculator risk calculator, risk being the key word here, or key words, but also being willing to make some difficult decisions. Now when it comes to managing risk, this is easier said than done, like most of the things in this conversation.
[00:16:27] But you wanna start small. You want to gradually increase the way that you operate with risk and the level of risk that you are comfortable with. You don't wanna say, Hey, I am happy to, you know, invest $200,000 if you've never invested a hundred dollars in your life, right? Because you won't understand the process, you won't understand how it works, and you'll soon realize that it's not as easy as it looks.
[00:16:46] But if you're comfortable with that, then by all means, you can do that. You can do your research, you can understand what's at. and I like to do this, you know, running some numbers, you know, checking yourself, seeing what makes sense, some pros and cons. There's so many different ways that you can assess risks and decisions that you need to make.
[00:17:02] The next thing that we can do with this is creating a plan on how you wanna manage and mitigate that risk. Now, as I said before a bit earlier, is having a background in project management. When we needed to go in and let's say that, you know, we, we had a budget of a million dollars. And we are building out a system and we know that there could be some third party integrations that come up or third party things that are kind of out of our control.
[00:17:23] Or maybe there's government decisions that need to be made that will impact our project. So we had to create a plan knowing that, well, we need to do this and we're gonna assume that this might happen or might not. Now, if it does happen, it's a risk we're willing to take, knowing that we might have to spend an.
[00:17:38] 30 days or an extra $30,000 or whatever it may be to manage that risk. And it's a risk we're willing to take because we're trying to move forward regardless, right? So having a plan in place enables you to move forward and understand how are you gonna address it when it arises, opposed to just trying to figure it out when you get there.
[00:17:56] This applies really, really well with life and really, really well with business as well. But also like I can use this in the same realms of. You know, being prepared, having enough nutrition and water on the, you know, on the run with me so that I'm not relying on other people to provide me water, because if they don't have the water, I'm the one that's responsible.
[00:18:14] I need to find the water. I need to tell them to have the waterproof. If they don't have it, how am I managing that? So I usually have backup or have a spare water with me, or whatever it may be. You. You get what I'm saying. Other way is we can seek help and advice to understand what are we entering into?
[00:18:27] What is, what is the road ahead of us before going in and taking that risk. We can also have the mindset and expectation that we may fail. This might not go as planned, and that's the risk we're willing to take. And unfortunately, a lot of risks mean. It's never gonna be a good result or a bad result, and we need to be comfortable with either of those results.
[00:18:48] Now, the key thing with risks is that we need to learn from any mistakes. Risks mean assessing that there could be one of these things to come to be, right? And when that does happen, it's like, okay, how do we learn from that? How do we now go forward and make sure that we don't have that occur again and build that into it?
[00:19:04] Because now we've learned from it, right? If you, if something occur, , you can now start to mitigate it going forward for the next time. And your risk tolerance might become, you know, even higher because you're comfortable of kn knowing how you're going to be able to assess it and how you're going to be able to manage it.
[00:19:21] But being confident as well is is really important. If you've, if you've ran the numbers, if you've done the work, if you've done all these things above, you've done the research, you understand what you're up for, you've run the numbers, you've got the right head space, then you can go into this confidently and knowing that what I'm about to.
[00:19:36] It's a sure thing, but there is still some potential cons as well. And from this, you can then understand your tolerance and you can understand, you know, how much you're comfortable with uncertainty, and you can then start to be comfortable with the different odds based on your preparation. Alright, so if we just recap and we just, I guess, consolidate all that we've kind of just gone through and what we've just covered, there's a few overarching elements in which I think we should be focusing on.
[00:20:02] The. And again, this is not my recommendations. I'm not advising you that just do this. What I'm saying is like, if we pull out some of the core roots of what we've just discussed, these are the areas that I believe really stuck out for me the most. And number one is having that growth mindset, being able to cultivate, I guess, a positive attitude towards change.
[00:20:23] rather than looking at it as a negative thing or getting too defensive too early, we need to be open to learning new things, staying informed. When we stay informed, we can keep ourselves up to date and ready with whether it's latest, the trends, better understanding, or it gives us information to be able to make effective decisions.
[00:20:40] So the, you know, this will vary depending on whatever you're doing, whether it's in an industry, whether it's in a hobby field, whether it's just in your own life, and you know, being able to communicate with your loved ones. Having information enables you to execute. The other one is then having Plan Bs or having alternative options.
[00:20:57] Something that I, I, I, I will harp on it again, is reading that book around your next five moves has really given me some good understanding of like, okay, if I've got a couple of different plans here. and I'm gonna go this way and it doesn't work out in my favor. I've got some backup plans on that I'm gonna use to then jump in and continue to move forward.
[00:21:15] It, it plays the same way out. If you are thinking about setting goals, you might have some big, big goals, some shorter goals, and, you know stretch goals and things that will, meaning if this way doesn't go to plan, I can change my approach or I can change my goal or I can focus on that one. Right? It gives you some options to be able to give you some flex.
[00:21:36] And I think the most two important ones, which are the last two that I'll quickly touch on here is being or practicing mindfulness, right? And again, with anything that we do, a lot of the time we bring, we bring the stress to ourselves. So being able to manage our mindfulness and being able to develop the ability to, I guess, stay calm, stay focused, and to continue to move forward through uncertainty and.
[00:21:58] That is key. If you can figure that out, it's going to make your life a lot easier with whatever it is that you're embarking on. And then similar to being proactive. Being proactive is is key because if you want something, you can't be waiting around for opportunities to come to you. You need to be looking for opportunities.
[00:22:15] And that might mean, you know, being open to some of the change, being open to when things don't go as planned, because is there a lesson here? Is there something here that you can take away that's going to enable you to get ahead and be proactive in assessing them and understanding all the things that we've just gone through of how.
[00:22:32] Maybe this could work in your favor, or how does this apply to my bigger plan? Does this apply to one of my Plan B's or alternate plans? Is this going to cause a lot of stress? So going through an understanding, does this make sense? And being proactive rather than just reacting. And I'm gonna finish with this quote.
[00:22:47] I'm gonna finish with one from Franklin D Roosevelt, and it says, the only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. And I really love this because really, , it does help us see that how we manage today will then dictate how we proceed tomorrow. And again, we can't control tomorrow until tomorrow.
[00:23:08] We can control today, we can set ourselves up for a better tomorrow. We can set ourselves up, you know, with a structure, with a routine, with a mentality, with getting things in preparation. But when tomorrow comes, it's a whole new day. Things might not go as we expected, however, as we manage today, it will help us how we manage and dictate the next day ahead.
[00:23:29] Because when we learn, when we apply ourselves, when we grow, when we open ourselves up to a positive mentality and a positive response, you might actually realize that tomorrow ain't all that bad. But no matter what it throws at us, we've got options, and that's really the key thing here, is that you've got options.
[00:23:50] You know how to address when things take a turn, or life throws a curve ball at you because it's going to happen. Unfortunately. That's the reality of it. It's then how we're able to manage that, how we're able to hold ourselves in those situations as well. Now, if you've enjoyed this episode or if you've got question.
[00:24:06] Number one, jump. Jump down below if you're watching here on YouTube and leave a comment. Or you can reach out to myself over on the socials that further your lifestyle. And that's it, that's on Instagram. And drop me a message. Say hi, leave a comment, drop me a dm. You can reach out in a few different other ways as well.
[00:24:22] I've got all the links and details below in the description. And the other thing is like, if you have enjoyed this episode, or leave a review, let me know that you've enjoyed the episode. Most of all, if you think someone else can resonate from this, send them the link. Let them listen to it and tell them why they need to listen to this.
[00:24:40] That would mean the absolute world to me, of course, if it makes sense, if this is relevant to that situation, meaning if you think someone can learn from this, the. Send it, share it, get it out there. I really appreciate it. At the end of the day, I'm bringing this message to you. I'm trying to have a conversation with you and I want you to continue the conversation.
[00:24:58] It might not be with me, but it might be with someone else. Really do appreciate you being here. You have a wonderful day. Cheers.