The Unexpected

You can’t expect the unexpected. As much as we like the mantra “expect the unexpected,” it simply is an oxymoron. A Navy Seal might spend their career defending and protecting people. Still, there is no way that they would ever expect to meet their end by a squid that accidentally fell from a helicopter (I don’t know if this has ever happened, but I wouldn’t wait to see a story like this.) Since you cannot expect the unexpected, the best thing we should do is train to be adaptable.

Training to be adaptable is easy. Put yourself in different situations that make you act in a way that you haven’t before. The more you do this, the more you will become adaptable to any situation.

You don’t have to start with the extremes. Don’t sign up to be a keynote speaker if you are terrified of conversations with other people. But you can start somewhere that makes you more adaptable. Maybe start by sending an email to someone you don’t usually talk to, but would be interested in hearing their opinion. The email is something both within your safe zone (a private email that you can craft at your speed) and your unsafe zone (talking to someone who you haven’t before.) The more little steps you take, the more you will find that eventually, you are much more adaptable than you were before.

The more adaptable you are, the more prepared you are for the unexpected. Not because you are anticipating when something unexpected will happen, but because you will be trained to figure out situations that you are uncomfortable with. And generally, the best way to address the unexpected is to become comfortable with it – because that is when the unexpected becomes the expected.