Stop saying, ‘Life Happens’ and other things you SHOULD do in order to be great.
I had a session with a Nutrition client last night. She was recapping her food log to me and I have to say, it was pretty good. But then, she came out with it.
‘It was Monday night, I hadn’t meal prepped on Sunday, it was a C R A Z Y day and you know, I went through the McDonald’s drive-thru. But seriously, that’s ok right, life happens sometimes.’
I had a decision to make in that moment.
1 – lie to her and keep our session under an hour
2 – tell her the truth and we could be here all night
I took a breath, looked at her, thought she could handle and said, ‘that’s bullshit’.
She was stunned. I had only ever met her once before. I was definitely taking a risk, but, I was willing to take the chance.
This is the thing about ‘Life Happens’.
We usually say it to excuse behaviour that is absolutely not in line with the person, the friend, the sister, the boss or the citizen we really want to be.
It’s a lie.
We use the term to suggest that something out of the ordinary has occurred – a problem, a stressful week, a unicorn situation that happens but once in a blue moon. But the truth is, life is constant change, its a series of bumps in the road rather than smooth sailing with a few scattered speed bumps once every 10,000 kilometres. Nature is change, animals are change and so are we.
Accepting excuses from ourselves whether it’s a McDonald’s run, flipping off a driver while in the middle of a road rage episode, being a total a$$hole to a customer service agent over the phone, a double fudge sundae we order right after the gym, no matter what it is – when we allow it from ourselves, we become that version of ourselves (which is not what we want, right?).
You are only as strong as your weakest link.
‘If problems/changes, de-railed plans, stress, exhaustion, and unplanned events are really our lives – (and it will be if you are ambitious, living large, taking opportunities, and saying, ‘Yes!’) – then why, oh WHY?! do we act like it is soooo out of the ordinary and use these occurrences an excuse to stay small?’
The idea that problems and change in life is extraordinary is simply bonkers. We all go through it and don’t get me wrong, I empathize with everyone, here. I’ve seen my fair share of struggles and challenges, big and small but that’s just a part of living. You might not have to work late every day or have your bus break down every day or you might not have a jam-packed schedule every day but no matter what the frequencies of these occurrences, we know, without a doubt, they WILL occur.
How do we deal? We stop planning for perfect. We prepare for the bumps in the road.
For example: Ladies, we know Aunt Flo is visiting every month and generally speaking, we know when she is going to pop by to say hello. So WHY do we blame anything and everything on PMSing? That’s no excuse. This isn’t new. Pack an extra snack to keep cravings at bay and your energy up, drink more water to fight that extra fatigue or worst case take five minutes to watch a cute baby animals video as a pick-me-up – divert your attention away from damaging, in the moment, ‘Life Happens’ choices.
Ultimately, it’s a cop out. Maybe it makes you feel better for a moment but what are you really gaining from that? (Nothing. You’re gaining nothing.) Saying that ‘Life Happens’ is merely a product of what we’ve learned to tolerate. We’ve come to simply accept where we are in a particular moment, shrug our shoulders and say (you guessed it) ‘Life Happens’ instead of taking action to rise above it or change our attitude to embrace change rather than resist it and react to it.
Alternatively, let’s elevate our individual human existence. Yeah, that sounds heavy but when you break it down it just means we don’t have to let little hiccups send our day or our plans into a tailspin. We can adapt, adjust and overcome.
Even better? It’s not like you have to do this alone. It’s okay to lean a little on friends or family when you feel like something is particularly out of your control. That’s a-ok. In turn, you’ll be able to recognize and lend a little support when you see someone going through the same thing.
It’s important to remember that perfect does not- I repeat, DOES NOT- exist, so if you are forever counting on things to go right, you will forever be rolling your eyes and blaming life. Do you see how silly that sounds? That’s the thing about ‘Life Happens’? It’s just Life.
How you embrace it will mold you into the person you either don’t want to be or want to be. What are you choosing?