I was an editor of a mid-sized publication in New York until recently. Unfortuntately, that publication has now folded. Along with so many other businesses in New York City during the global pandemic, my previous job was dissolved.
I’m not exactly sure what happened, but suffice it to say that the whole thing was a little bit of a surprise. And, as could be expected, this threw a monkey wrench into a few of my plans.
What I do know is this: I can only change the things I can change. Worrying about everything in New York that I can’t change is a waste of my energy. So, what can I change in this situation?
I can choose to stay my course.
One of my favorite parts of the Pixar movie A Bug’s Life is at the very beginning when a leaf falls in the middle of the line of ants while they’re carrying food. The ant directly behind the fallen leaf freaks the heck out because now that his route is obstructed, he thinks there’s nowhere to go.
As rational humans, we think these neurotic ants are so cute. Just go around the leaf, silly creature, we think. But, when the equivalent of a leaf falls in our lives, we often freak out just as much as the ant. So, here are three things you can do if something suddenly goes wrong in your life.
Remember the stop, drop, and roll thing from grade school? (If not, that’s what you should do if you happen to accidentally catch your body on fire). Well, that’s exactly what you should do in New York when something goes wrong. First, stop spiraling. If you run around and freak out, you’ll end up pretty charred.
So, stop and take a moment to reassess your situation. Remind yourself of your main goal. If you’re the ant in A Bug’s Life, your simple goal is to get your piece of food to the pile at the end of the rock. A leaf that has fallen in front of you should only be a small deterrent.
My main goal happens to be to become one of the most-read female authors on the internet — one who inspires and educates as many people as possible on a daily basis. Any current New York City drama that is going on has very little to nothing to do with that main goal.
Second, once you have taken the time to stop and reassess the situation, it’s time to drop into redirecting yourself toward your main goal (again). What is the next possible course of action that you can actively take in New York to regain control of your current circumstances? Pretend you’re Waze and you’ve just encountered a lot of traffic. Recalculating.
No matter what has happened, there is inevitably an alternative route toward your desired New York City success destination. You just may have to look around for a while. Drop into the knowledge of what you want and find a way around the dumpster fire that you may currently be in. Life goes on and you should too. Plot your new course for success. You never know. It might be a more direct route than the one you were on in the first place.
Now that you have an alternative pathway toward putting your proverbial ant food on the rock, keep on rolling. So many of us in New York use obstacles as an excuse to pause our paths toward our goals. Sure, any kind of setback or surprise event could stall your journey, but you don’t want to stall your journey even more by not getting going right away.
Readjust your aim and resume your journey.
Unexpected obstacles come up in everyone's life. Leaves fall on your pathway toward your goals — it’s inevitable. Don’t be the person in New York who freaks out and runs around fanning the flames of whatever drama has transpired. If you take the time to stop and reassess your situation, drop into an alternative path toward your goals, and resume rolling on toward success, nothing can stop you.
We all have things in our lives that suddenly go wrong in New York. It’s the way we handle them that makes all the difference.