The other day I was on my way home and walking past a fortune teller storefront that New Yorkers are all too familiar with. (Anyone have an answer as to how they make enough money to afford the rent? Do they bet on sports as a side job?) At the time, a lot of stressful thoughts had been running rampant in my uncooperative brain. I noticed all of the stress centered around uncertainty. Uncertainty in applying to a job which I loved the prospect of doing, uncertainty of moving back into my compromised apartment in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, uncertainty of this blog – whether I can keep generating material and get enough readers. All these thoughts were swirling around in my head when I noticed a flash in the fortune teller’s storefront. A naked, moustached, potbellied, man in underwear burst out almost knocking me out with the door and screamed, “DEREK! DEREK! WHERE’S DEREK?”
I froze. Derek is a generally uncommon name – why couldn’t he have asked for Eric instead? He would have had a stronger chance at roping someone in for a palm reading. I am not generally superstitious, but I was compelled to read into the incident and not just dismiss it as random coincidence.
Just when you think you have more control in your life than you do, life sends a reminder (in the form of an underwear-clad stranger) that you should embrace uncertainty. For example, regarding that one job prospect I was particularly obstressing (copyrighted) over, I had to recognize that it was only a prospect – I cannot possibly know whether it is the perfect, make-or-break job for me just from the job description. I have had jobs where before I even started, I projected them to be the perfect dream job for me and the opposite result happened. There is a much higher degree of uncertainty in life than I normally perceive and it took a naked man in tightie-whities to make me realize this.
Here are a couple methods that I have since used to deal with uncertainty:
1) Realize in times of uncertainty, that change is brewing and is just around the corner. The change is possibly good or possibly bad. Even if it is bad change, it is something that you can learn from. Ask yourself – practically speaking, what is the worst that can happen? I promise you will find that the worst case scenario is not so bad as to cause you intense worry and stress.
2) Recognize that it is a time to reflect and be thankful. Sometimes we make up uncertainty in our heads during the least busiest times in life and thus, undergo worry and stress. If we can just wipe away that sort of self-imposed stress, we may find ourselves more clear-headed than ever. Then we can reflect and be grateful and have fantastic mental health that lasts.
[Dream Job Image: ComeRecommended]