Let’s prepare ourselves to cope with the challenges in 2022

In the last week of 2021, we may slow down our pace to rest or reflect on our lives to plan ahead.  It is beyond dispute that we face a lot of challenges in 2021 and these are going to continue in the next year.  In fact, the challenges we are facing are diverse and complicated, including the pandemic, economic uncertainties, global warming, immigration and technological advancement, to name a few.  We may all have some relatives or friends currently facing unemployment, business downturn, immigration or other difficulties.  It is inevitable for us and our closed ones to experience some anxiety when we try to plan ahead in the year 2022.  We may also feel confused for finding the best strategies to cope with all these challenges ahead.  It is common for us to try to prepare ourselves by coming up with all the possible problems we will encounter and plan for the likely feasible solutions for all these problems.  It is our nature to try to control the situations as much as possible in order for us to feel secure and safe.  However, is it possible for us to have full control given all these unpredictable trajectory of all the challenges we are facing? 

The answer to the above question is apparently no, we do not have full control in our lives.  What more important is, we also cannot apply the same theory or concept in different situations when we face challenges.  For instance, a staff is being laid off by his boss due to his lack of contribution to the sales of the department.  However, in similar situation, another staff is being laid off by his boss because of his lack of sensitivity to company politics despite his great contribution in the sales of the department.  In fact, this staff is the star performer in sales in his department, but he was still laid off due to interpersonal issues.  When we think about this example, we may feel helpless because it seems that there is no “best strategy” in the workplace to prevent ourselves from being laid off.  This is the reality that we need to embrace, that is, there are too many variables in our environment and we have no full control of what will happen to us.  The best strategy for us to cope with our challenges and unpredictable future is to go with the flow and keep bringing our conscious awareness in the present moment.

When we embrace the fact that we are part of the nature and the universe without full control rather than we are the center of the nature and the universe with much control, we understand that we need to stay conscious in every present moment when we face our challenges and problems.  With this mindful awareness, we can be as flexible as water to cope with the forever changing situations.  It is better for us to use less of our rational and thinking parts of our brain and more of our sensing and intuitive parts of our brain.  With this in mind, we can be flexible to apply our practical strategies learned from our own life experiences when we face challenges or problems.  In fact, we need to use different practical strategies in similar situations that have subtle differences.  If we are mindful in the present moment, we can assess the situations in more details and apply suitable strategies accordingly.  There is no one size fit all strategy for our challenges and problems.

With a humble heart, we can embrace the reality that we know too little of the nature and the universe.  It is too naïve for us to think we can control everything in our lives.  In 2022, let us prepare ourselves with the wisdom of being flexible and being mindful in every present moment to face of challenges ahead.  Happy New Year with best wishes!

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