When you crash against the wall of reality

Friday, July 22, 2011 | En Español

If you want to make God laugh, make plans.

Life is full of disappointments, broken plans and shattered expectations, and these can cause emotional reactions that lead to actions that we wouldn't normally do. Part of the growth of a person is learning how to deal with life's curve balls. It does sound very obvious, but that doesn't always make it easy, in the heat of the moment one feels the almost uncontrollable urge to do of the hook things. In my own personal experience, a stream of emotions cross my head, and all of them must be controlled.

The impulse to get away from the person who is giving me the news.

It takes a great effort to stay there and pretend that the news doesn't affect you, and a masterful act to show an optimist face as you receive them. As a leader, as someone who needs to be on top of the situation, no matter the situation, this ability is vital. If you don't show optimism over what is happening, the moral of everybody around you can be destroyed, and as many failed companies and projects can attest to it, it is very difficult to recover from that.

The impulse to talk to somebody about it.

As a personal rule, if I feel bad, sad, depressed or very tired, I just log out and/or isolate myself. I do feel like writing e-mails, I feel like chatting, and more recently I feel like getting into Google+ (which I have been testing for a week) and talk about it, heck, even to whine about it, but whenever I done this in the past (a far away past thankfully), I regretted it later when I was calm. In this particular point, the advice is really "don't".

The impulse to do something stupid.

This is so wide that I don't even know where to start and may in fact include all of the other points exposed in this post. It may range from wasting money that you saved or that you don't have, throwing away something that you need or like, get very angry at someone who have nothing to do with the problem. My best advice for this is to just sit down, breath deep and give yourself some time to asses the situation. It works for me.

The impulse to hurt someone.

I don't mean to physically hurt someone, but sometimes the news are delivered by somebody who is involved in the generation of said news, and the news hurt us, and we may feel an impulse to say something hurtful back. In this case the advice is another big "don't".

The impulse to hurt myself.

I have succumbed to this one. I didn't take a razor and cut myself of course, but I did end up doing workouts that are more painful than the workouts I normally do. I guess it isn't that bad, but still, I shouldn't do it for that reason. Hit walls, kick objects, act carelessly, do dangerous things, and of course do drugs or really cut yourself are things that I shouldn't have to even mention, but I do, this is another "don't".

The impulse to cry

To those who can actually cry, which I don't (I can only remember one time in which I was overwhelmed enough that I done it), I would advice them to do it, not all the time, not in the wrong moment, but crying is a way to deal with a harsh reality. Life is not about being a strong emotionless rock that can not be hurt, life is about surviving, it is about getting through it day after day. Sometimes this is so easily accomplished, but some times it isn't, and if crying is what let you wake up the next day and try again, then do it and don't feel bad about it.

Final thoughts

Give yourself some time to process the news and to come up with new plans, to act impulsively when you are faced with an unexpected and negative situation would almost always result in something that you will regret. If you do need to talk to somebody about it, talk to somebody that can give you a truly external opinion, to someone who is calm and who will take an analytical approach about your situation, you can even write me an e-mail if you wish. Value yourself, value your life, don't idealize if you can help it, and remember that life will always be full of unexpected turns.

We are emotion driven beings, to keep a cool head and a smile when we crash against the wall of reality may be one of the most important skills that we can learn.

Categories: Thoughts