You Are Always Ready

The guy in front of me wore the perfect sweater given the queue we were standing in: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” Having arrived at the airport with 25 kg of luggage only to find out my flight was canceled, I’d say those were some good lemons. The lemonade I ended up sipping came courtesy of some food vouchers, and 24 hours later, I’m still enjoying the bittersweet fruits that are the free perks in an airport hotel.

As I was dealing with some admin items over breakfast, I caught myself thinking: “Please, no more issues. Not this early in the day. I’m not ready for another big problem.” Reality, of course, cares not for such thoughts. My flight might be cancelled yet again. Something could go wrong with my luggage. An unrelated work thing may pop up. And the truth is, if any of these things happened, I would just handle them, because I’d have to. So actually, I’m always ready — and so are you.

True readiness does not come from feeling ready. It comes from accepting new situations as they are, and then making of them what you can. Whether we have the feeling of preparedness has little bearing on our ability to actually handle what’s coming well.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to deal with a canceled flight or not. No one ever wants that. The important part is that you stay calm, come up with a solution, and find a way to move on with your day — and all of those things you’ll have to do in the moment, not before. Your feeling ready for calamity does nothing if, in reality, you’ll lose your temper at the first sign of difficulty. Wouldn’t you rather not have felt ready but then kept your cool anyway? That’s just as possible, because the two are barely connected.

Don’t tell yourself a story about what you can and can’t handle. You can deal with anything. Whenever it happens, and whatever “it” is, you are always ready — and if you don’t know how to make lemonade, you’ll learn it when life hands you some lemons.