I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but all the same, one of the fundamental tenets I try to live by is, “the only thing constant in life is ‘change'”. So you gotta be ready.
This theme repeats itself at home, at work, and everywhere in between. If your attitude is properly primed and ready to adapt when necessary, you’ll be a lot better off.
I work for a small business where the priorities shift on nearly a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis. Forecasting and planning and follow-ups and filing are all important, but if an opportunity comes to the fore that means a good piece of work for the company, we all shift focus in effort to bring that contract in the door. After the “fire drill” [as we call it] is over, it’s back to the more strategic priorities.
At home, with three kids under 5 and two dogs and not a lot of time, my wife and I are constantly shifting activities to feed the kids, do the dishes, clean up the living room, put away clothes, finish the laundry, feed the dogs, change a diaper, put the groceries away, pay the bills, clean up the kitchen, etc. You get the idea. We adapt and adjust and try to keep moving forward, keep the family on track.
If someone gets sick, or hits their head on the corner of the table, the situation requires a whole different shift of priority. Sequence and even schedule might have to change to accommodate the circumstance and help whoever needs a little extra love and attention.
Most of us have to deal with a job change or two (or three or four or five) during our career; we’ve had to deal with a car that breaks down or gets a flat tire; sometimes dinner gets burned and you have to eat peanut butter and jelly instead; the computer suddenly, inexplicably freezes and you have to reboot (or worse, lose you work). We’ve all been there.
So don’t let the unexpected catch you off guard. Expect change to happen. Be ready with the right attitude, and hopefully some advance thoughts about “What if…?” It’s super important.