Post #92 When the World is Against You
It is difficult enough to be a productive, thriving engineering student – even when all is well and life goes according to plan. The last thing you need is a global pandemic like COVID-19 to add to your list of worries. When life is unfair, how are you expected to stay on course and keep moving forward?
When Life is Unfair
How is it everything is working against you? You diligently plan for each semester and you have clear visions of how everything is supposed to fall into place. You know exactly who your closest friends are, where to hang out and which employers you’re considering. The grand plan is in place, all you must do is execute. Until … plans go to the wayside. Everything you thought, wasn’t. People lie, money dries up, grades haunt and your internship disappeared. Why you?
Pause and Breathe
It is easy to become overwhelmed when plans fail. However, the overwhelm reaches a higher, more severe level when you feel life is unfair (see Post #71). Let’s try a brain exercise. Stop thinking, for a moment, of all the things that didn’t go your way. Clear your brain as best you can and be present with the empty space. Pause, embrace the emptiness, and delete all evidence in support of your belief that life is unfair. Then, focus on your breathing. Take some deep breaths, feel your body movements, and allow some conscious breathing. Can you accomplish this for a full 5 minutes?
Altering your Perspective
Clearing your thoughts will make room for you to think. I’d like to pose a question, and please sit down because you may be shocked. What if things were happening FOR you instead of happening to you? Somewhere within your clear brainpower, you can find answers. Ask your clear-headed self, “How is this a good thing that XYZ happened … what can I gain or learn as I’m forced to make new plans”, etc. When life is unfair, at least consider the perspective that all the unfairness is essential for your future. Your current suffering, trials and tribulations are paving the foundation for your success.
In conclusion, life’s unfairness exists to test your moment of truth: how will you decide to manage your unjust situation?
For additional tools and brain exercises to help you manage your COVID-19 circumstances, visit my YouTube video: Managing Student Life During COVID-19.