Prepare for the worst
I’m going to say something uncharacteristically pessimistic. I always prepare for the worst.
Now for something optimistic. I always hope for the best.
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. My mom told me that years ago, and its always stuck with me. It’s become a life habit I don’t even think about doing. I just do it naturally.
One of my biggest lessons in doing that was when I didn’t get flag corp when I tried out my Freshman year. I couldn’t fathom not making the squad. My life would be OVER. I never considered the worst seriously. I never had a healthy approach to this ordeal.
I didn’t make it. My life was not over. I was, however, numb and devastated a few days. I justified it 1000 ways, but at the end of the day. I’d just failed to acknowledge the worst case scenario, and as a result I melted down.
I’m sure there are countless other times that I failed to even acknowledge the “worst case scenario” and as a result I was unprepared when it came to pass. But that example is probably the biggest one that always comes to my mind.
Hope for the best. Believe in the best.
Mindset is half the battle in all things. If you think you can, you will. I believe this to be true. However, if you put so much weight onto something HAVING to turn out a certain way, I think you put yourself right into the position of it not happening. Similarly, if you go in assuming a certain result, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed when it doesn’t go exactly like you expect.
Today, my dad prepared our tax return. I went in bracing for the worst: owing. I know too many people who DO owe this year, and I knew much of our combined income had not had taxes taken out of it. And even though I work with tax returns right now on a daily basis, there is still so much of tax laws I don’t understand. One being what deductions are allowed and how they are applied. (This is why I make the returns look pretty as opposed to actually preparing them.) I was truly prepared to owe.
When we came out with a refund, I almost cried with joy and relief. Literally. I had hoped for the best, but I was fully prepared for the worst. And as a result, the outcome was better than I expected. Even if my refund was only $1, it would have been better than I was prepared to see. I was tickled.
I hope for the best in all things. Always. But I also brace myself for the worst. It allows me to have some sort of game plan and calmness in the situation that the worst does happen. In the same breath, it usually makes anything that happens a very pleasant result.
I plan to keep this mindset for a long time to come. It’s served me well so far. I am certain it will serve me well in the future.