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Tips for dealing with life's chaos: The 50/50 rule

Do you know where stress and anxiety come from?

We make unconscious attempts to assign a "good" or "bad" label to the events, experiences, and feelings we encounter in our lives. These unconscious attempts are part of our "mind's manual".

Each of us has a manual in our minds that tells us how to see the world based on our parents, experiences, culture, age, education, environment, and so on.

Some parts of this manual are constantly updating while others are more fixed.

If we don't update it with intention, it has the tendency to judge the world in a way that's not beneficial to us.

By and large, we believe that most of what we experience in life should be "good".

These expectations and "this is how it's supposed to be" leave us feeling hurt and disappointed when something we perceive as "bad" happens. As a result, we don't get to experience the variety of choices that life's journey offers.

An important trick here is to accept and embrace the 50:50 rule.

What is the 50:50 rule?

For every good thing that happens, there will be a bad thing that happens.

Everyone has good points and bad points.

There's excitement and there's boredom in everything.

There will be chaos in your life and there will be clarity.

There are days when your thoughts are flowing and there are days when you feel stuck.

Accepting this is what the 50:50 rule is all about.

Our lives are not always predictable.

It's not our circumstances that make us unhappy.

It's the mind trying to control it with expectations and attachments that life should be a certain way.

That's not to say that the circumstances of people in extreme situations shouldn't be overlooked. They are significant.

However, people who get "laid off" "divorced" or "ill" react in different ways. The more someone believes that these things should never happen to them, conversely, the more unhappy they remain.

Life is chaotic and uncomfortable, but that's also what makes it new and exciting.

This is another theory based on the 50:50 rule.

The thing to remember is to embrace 50:50.

Also remember that no matter what situation you're in, this ratio doesn't change.

Different kinds of problems will always arise.

For example...

I have no money right now, so I can't be happy.

You're postponing happiness because you think, "If only I had more money all of this would be solved"

When you do make a lot of money, you'll find that your problems have only changed their shade (ie. now you have tax problems, relationship problems, money management problems). The 50% of the bad still remains. Next comes another round of postponement of happiness as you say to yourself, "If only I could solve these problems."

What are the benefits of accepting that life itself is unpredictable and always 50/50?

  • New experiences and discoveries: You can discover what you prefer.

  • Increased adaptability: Whenever something unpredictable happens, we get to practice adapting and become more resilient in new situations.

  • Greater appreciation: Hard and challenging things make us more appreciative of our happiness. When you walk into a warm space after being out in the freezing cold for a long time, your appreciation for that warmth is greater than if you had been in a warm place the whole time.

"Life begins right now. You can't predict it, but you can choose it." - Stephen Covey


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