How can you plan ahead for an unpredictable future?
Christopher Walken once said, “At its best, life is completely unpredictable,” and that couldn’t be more true. This unpredictable world has a way of throwing unexpected situations our way. Some transitions, like accidents, death, divorce, job loss, or serious illness, can be quite dramatic and can happen at any point.
Things that make life unpredictable aren’t always negative, though; positive experiences such as getting engaged, leaving home for college, starting a new job, moving to a new city, or giving birth to a child can also be just as life-altering, even when you plan for or anticipate them.
Any significant changes in your life have the potential to bring more questions about the future and may force you to leave behind what’s familiar and adjust to a new way of living, at least for a little while.
Advantages of Preparing for the Unexpected
Nobody can prepare for everything life throws at us, but not preparing at all can put us at a huge disadvantage. When you make an effort to prepare for the unexpected nature of life, you encourage self-discipline. You learn to overcome procrastination, dump trivial excuses, and become more mindful of how you live your life.
Every time you prepare for that meeting, vacation, or dinner with a friend, you start an internal dialogue with yourself. Your brain goes through a thousand scenarios to give you the best chance of successfully completing the task. As you work through different scenarios, you prepare for different outcomes. It may not feel like you’re practicing strategic thinking, but each time you prepare, you’re honing this skill.
When you learn to prepare, think everything through, and evaluate all the known scenarios, there’s little chance something unexpected can disrupt your everyday life. Nonetheless, if an unexpected event does occur, how can you stay composed? The following article offers tips to help you live better in an unpredictable world.
1. Accept the fact that sometimes bad things happen.
An unwillingness to accept that life is dynamic (and not static) can make the unpredictable harder to get through, ultimately increasing anxiety or creating cultures of fear. Acknowledging that you navigate uncertainty every day, like driving to work in dangerous weather conditions, can help build your tolerance for more significant uncertainties. Turning your attention toward daily uncertainties that you successfully navigate may help crowd out negative, anxiety-ridden thoughts.
Building a culture of gratitude can also change your perspective to one of appreciation and acceptance of both the good and bad parts of life, relieving you of the burden of trying to control the future or meet an external standard that doesn’t take the variations of life into account.
2. Set up an emergency fund.
We generally view the big unexpected events that affect our financial futures as negative surprises, so it’s important to set up an emergency fund to give you and your family a buffer in the event something unplanned happens. Try to put aside roughly three to six months’ worth of living expenses. With a solid emergency fund, you can have peace of mind knowing that if your car transmission suddenly gives out, you or your partner loses their job, a natural disaster destroys your home, or you run into any legal trouble, you’ll have the money you need to absorb the financial impact.
3. Keep the basics on hand.
Every region of the US is vulnerable to some type of natural disaster. If there’s a big storm and the power goes out, can you still cook food for your family and heat your home? What if a sudden snowstorm hits and renders the roads unsafe to travel? Would you have enough provisions to cover your family’s needs for a week? While the unpredictable weather of this world can take you by surprise, keeping basic supplies on hand for such an emergency can help you rest assured you can ride it out safely on short notice. Stock your home with the basics for survival, like water, food, and a method of keeping warm, and you’ll always be ready for just about any surprise situation.
4. Build a support system.
In our self-sufficient society, one of the most overlooked ways to live better in an unpredictable world is by maintaining genuine relationships. If your wallet or purse got stolen while you’re visiting a new city, who would you call? If you needed a place to stay while your house gets fumigated, who would open the doors to their home? By building up a support system, you can have someone to run to when the unexpected happens and you need a little time to get back on your feet.
5. Keep up with routine oral and overall body maintenance.
We all know that if you don’t use it, you lose it, and the same is true for keeping our bodies mobile and fit. Staying healthy longer is also why we try to eat good foods, soak in some sunshine and fresh air, and stay on top of our checkups. It’s always better to get that mammogram before it’s needed rather than when it’s too late. And it’s better to get your routine dental cleaning and evaluation before you get cavities or gum disease.
By sticking to a schedule of twice-annual dental visits, you can catch oral problems when they’re small and avoid expensive treatments later. To help our patients at Valley Dental Clinic afford the care they need, our practice accepts most major dental insurance plans, including Cigna, Delta Dental, and Premera Blue Cross.
With the estimate of expected fees you’ll get from our staff before your treatment starts and the knowledge of what’s covered by your insurance, you’ll be in a better position to plan for you and your family’s dental care needs. We also offer membership to our in-house dental care club, which has several membership plans, each tailored to fit the patient needs we see most. If you would like to learn more about the payment or financing options we offer at our office, let us know when you’re filling out our online form to book your appointment. Our team is always happy to answer all your questions!