Tip One – Compartmentalize
I recently re read Truckers, the Terry Pratchett classic to my son, . If you are not familiar with it, or have not read it in a while I will remind you that the main hero of the piece is a gnome named Masklin. At one point he discusses the notion of an impossible task. He talks about breaking an impossible task into improbable tasks, then into difficult tasks. Then you break those difficult tasks into tricky tasks until you can deal with and fix each issue. Don’t you love it when you read children’s literature and are reminded of the life lessons we should all be following. You see it is easy to become overwhelmed if you look at everything at the same time.
Tip Two – Accept Mediocrity
This is something I really struggle with but I am trying to be more accepting. Now I am all for bettering one’s self, learning new things and striving for excellence, but, and it is a big but, you cannot be the best at everything. My 40 freak out consisted of fretting about achievement, or lack there of. I have not secured the second book deal that I wanted, I am probably not going to reach performance standard in any of my instruments, I haven’t got a PhD. The list went on and whilst I looked at what I had not done I forgot about what I had achieved.
I forgot about the small stuff, the daily triumphs. I forgot that when you strive to be the best at everything you end up excelling in nothing. It is okay to be able to cook some okay meals. It is fine if you are not the greatest at mental arithmetic. Nothing stops you trying to improve in those areas but do not enslave yourself by trying to achieve the impossible. After all we cannot all be Leonardo DaVinci and I bet he was crap at making a Yorkshire pudding, (side note, so am I).
Tip Three – Ask For Help
Looking the way I do people forget my Indian heritage. I have white privilege, because I look like my father but I don’t really get idioms and I ask people inappropriate things about money. I have readers outside of the UK so I will explain British people do not like to talk about what they earn or how much things cost, those that do are considered crass or are foreign. My granny, despite being a short Indian woman, was in many ways more British than the Queen. But my granny was not afraid to ask for things. I never knew that people did not ask for things until I grew up, as a child your world is small and your family are the accepted norm.
My granny would ask for help. She knew who was good at a particular thing. Who had a van. Who could give you a reference. As I got older I began to be filled with British sensibilities and say no Granny you can’t ask them. Her answer was simple, why not? Indeed why not if someone does not want to help or cannot help they will say so.
This leads me back to point two. You cannot be amazing at everything so find someone who is. Ask them to help you. Ask them to do it and swap your time. Leonardo could you help me with invent teasmaid that detects your thirst and I can teach you how to make Yorkshire pudding, or do your ironing, or give you childcare etc etc…
Follow these three very simple tips to kick the crap out of life. I would love to hear if you have any tips on handling life, some good general points we could all learn from, be sure to share them in the comments.