I was talking to the barber as he was cutting my hair. I mentioned that we have four kids. First he had the usual shocked reaction (Four?! Wow! You must have your hands full!). Then he said that his younger brother, who is 58, had two kids ages 3 and 6. The barber did not know how he did it.
My first thought was that this would be exhausting and I’m glad we are on the younger side as parents.
Then I thought, why should the first reaction to any difficult situation be “I don’t know how they do it?”
The fact is, they usually do it. It isn’t always pretty or easy, but IT gets done. The reality of the situation forces us to live within whatever constraints are present, and act from there.
Some people are static within those constraints, some excel, and some regress. In all cases, we are starting from the existing situation and acting out our lives.
The thought shouldn’t be, “I don’t know how they do it” with a shake of the head, a sigh, and change of subject.
The thought should be, “How do they do it? I want to know their secrets.”
When I see someone in a situation that appears more difficult than my own, it’s easy to think “I don’t know how they do it.” But when someone says the same thing to me, my thought is – I just do it.
How do we break out of thinking that our situation is too difficult for us to reach our goals?
You’re Not Special
Yes, you are an individual and no one has been in the EXACT same situation before. But millions of people have dealt with similar or more difficult challenges. Even better, many of these people have written their experiences in books or in articles online. Look for the people that have achieved whatever goal you are attempting, but with some challenges.
Realize that you will be somewhere on the difficulty scale, but there will always be people on either side of your situation. There will always be people better off, and people worse off.
Even when someone achieves a goal and it looks like everything just fell into place, that doesn’t mean they didn’t have setbacks. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. You can still learn lessons from their journey. The knowledge that an achievement is possible is powerful in itself.
Be Thankful For The Good
Recognize what is going right. It’s very easy to allow improvements in life to become the norm and to take the easy parts of life for granted. Take time to think about what is going right. Think about what things you have, what you can do (or no longer have to do), and what makes life run more smoothly.
Recognize when you are getting IT done. There may be people that are wondering how you do it. If they ask, tell them.
Don’t Obsess On The Bad
Even though a situation is bad, it is not permanent. The time cannot be restored, the decisions cannot be taken back, and the outside events cannot be undone. No one can change the past and transform the current situation into a better one. What you can do, is make the best choices possible give the current situation to move to a better position.
Someone, somewhere, has had the same difficulty and come through.
Don’t think, “I don’t know how they do it.” Think, “I want to know how they get it done.”