“Detour Ahead!”

The road sometimes give us warnings that something unexpected is coming.  But unfortunately life doesn’t always give us the “detour ahead!” warning.

So how do we navigate the unexpected?

The unexpected can be something as simple as your nose running and you have a scheduled job interview.  Or perhaps your computer crashes and you are working under deadline.  Whatever the unexpected situation, it can really throw you for a loop!

Here are some suggested guidelines to consider when attempting to navigate the unexpected…

  1. Strive to stay focused in the present.  You don’t know what’s next.  So don’t even worry about what’s next.  Simply be present in what is happening right now.
  2. Look around.  Take time to visually take in your surroundings.  You may notice something familiar.  There may be a clue, helping you to discern what is next.
  3. Pay attention to your pacing.  You may need to take a big leap.  Or maybe simply a little tippy toe.  Your adjustments in response to the unexpected are possibly all shapes and sizes.
  4. Be who you are.  You cannot rely on the unexpected.  You cannot rely on a navigation system.  Be you.  Try your best.  And you will never regret being authentically you.
  5. Ask for help.  Just because you are being you doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone.  A friendly conversation with a stranger can be surprising helpful.
  6. Take a breath.  Don’t wait until you arrive at your anticipated destination before you stop what you are doing and take a breath.  Center yourself.  Calm yourself.  And just breathe.
  7. Stop holding yourself to an impossible standard.  The route has changed.  Something unexpected has happened. Accept the new reality. And that new reality may require more time and energy of you.  So try to take it for what it is.


*Shout out to my mother for co-writing this with me as we are waiting in the hospital while my father is in surgery!  We were trying to navigate the unexpected!