Bad things aren’t the problem. Surprise is.

All day, every day, things don’t go as expected. Or, things fail. Or, just don’t go well.

For example, I was recording a video today when suddenly my apartment was ensconced with the sound of a jack hammer coming from a crew doing road repairs outside my home.

These unpleasantries can topple your mood in a matter of seconds.

And I hate nothing more than when something goes wrong and I react to make things worse.

For example, yelling at the construction crew. Certainly nothing positive will come from that. It’s not like they’re tearing up the road just to upset me.

A while back I observed that I don’t get as upset when I expect something could go wrong.

Surprise is a big part of what sets us off.

So, I’ve curated a habit that if something is likely to go wrong–something that I know about and think about in advance–all I have to do is remind myself of the possibility and I’m much less upset when it does!

For example, when I hit the record button on my camera, if I know the construction crew is working today, I will silently remind myself that some noise may at some point disrupt my recording. And that’s fine, I’ll just have to redo a small part of the video.

And then when it happens I simply adapt and go on with my day.

Give it a try, what may go wrong with whatever you’re doing right now? Do you feel better when it comes to fruition?

My one word of caution is to make sure you don’t let self reassurance morph into rampant pessimism. Don’t overuse it.