2am Monday. Our power went out. Outside temp: 15°
Tuesday, we stayed at a hotel after running out of firewood and burning a few wooden Ikea shelves.
Wednesday, we tried to stay at the hotel, but they sold our room.
Hotels sold out.
That night we stay at in a friend's guest bedroom.
We take a trip back to the house to get some food, and as I walk to the front door, I hear smoke alarms going off. I open the door, and I hear rushing water, and our entire floor flooded with more pouring down from the ceiling.
We manage to get the main water line turned off and setup bins and trashcans on both levels of our house. Then for the next three hours, in 25° weather, I'm barefoot sweeping as much water out of the front door as possible. Luckily adrenaline kept me warm.
It's going to take four days to get a cleanup company out there. I don't know if we will stay there, so after moving a week ago, we might have to pack up and move again.
I wouldn't share this if there wasn't a lesson.
What served me the most in this situation was one of our Better Mind Principles: The Framework of Control.
By identifying what I can control vs. what I can't, my focus moves to HOW I WILL RESPOND to the situation rather than getting upset.
So I snapped into action after a short moment of emotion tried coming up.
A few hours later, after I reached the point of physical exhaustion, I had done all I could do. So I was content to leave, even though leaving my house and everything I own sitting in pools of water was a hard pill to swallow.
On the drive home, I thought about the many ways it could have BEEN WORSE. This is called negative visualization, and the Stoics recommended it. And it works.
I thought about how the kids could have been sick or hurt but were sleeping in a warm bed. Then I thought about how this could have happened at our house we just sold two weeks ago, potentially complicating our transaction.
On and on the list of potentially worse things are.
So now, as I write this, I have peace of mind. And I'm focused on the many things to be grateful for.
If we have to move, we will be in a better place, since that's usually how life works.
To this day, I'm still flabbergasted that there is so little emphasis on HOW TO THINK in our modern culture and the institutional education system.
You'd think we'd spend more time on helping people deal with the many stressors of life that happen to EVERYONE.
But we don't.
That's what the Better Mind program is all about: helping you build mental models that prepare you for life's challenges while also serving as the roadmap for flourishing in all aspects of your life, from your finances to your relationships to your health.
To enroll today in our 8-week group training program or try the self-paced option to get access to our BM8 Principles method, head over to BetterHuman.School.