* Back To Normal

There is no spoon.

Everybody seems to be waiting for things to “get back to normal” in one way or another:

  • My life will get back to normal after my divorce is finalized.
  • Life in Haiti will get back to normal after they recover from the recent earthquake.
  • Life in New England will get back to normal after the region recovers from this spring’s flooding.
  • Life in Europe will get back to normal after the ash from the Iceland volcano (Eyjafjallajokull) clears.
  • Startups will get back to normal after the recession ends.

But I don’t think we should wait. Chaos is the natural state of things. Divorce, natural disasters, and recessions, in fact, are all normal. Our lives, our businesses, our churches, and our governments should all be ready for the better/worse, richer/poorer, sickness/health, feast/famine cycles that are a normal part of life. The Boy Scouts had it right: be prepared.

Of course, we cannot prepare fully for everything. But neither should we be paralyzed when the unexpected happens. Waiting for things to get back to normal is a passive approach. Instead, we should be active, and make things – if not normal – better. As the great book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People teaches, responsibility is the ability to choose your own response.

Got chaos? It’s normal. Don’t worry about the things you can’t control. But control the things you can. Starting with your response.

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Erik J. Heels writes about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll. He is @ErikJHeels on Twitter.

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