5 Steps Ahead Or Way Behind.

Most of life isn't going to happen on your terms. You don't get to choose how most of your day turns out. Circumstances change without you asking for your approval.

You just have to deal with it. You have to react like you're ready. Like this moment is the one you've always been waiting for.

But how do you do that when you feel blindsided by events or hurt by the actions of friends?

Do what you would do 5 moves from now.

React like you're playing a game of chess -- not throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store.

If you can't think five moves ahead try a different first move.

  1. You do something. They do something.
  2. You do something. They do something.
  3. You do something. They do something.
  4. You do something. They do something.
  5. You do something.

The "they" doesn't need to be a person, although it often is. It can be an industry or a company -- anything that has a feedback loop.

React like you've got it under control.

React like you've got 5 moves. Almost any problem can be solved in 5 smart moves.

And the first one is often the most important, because it sets the tone for everything that follows. It either enables change or reinforces the opinions of the other party. Making change almost impossible.

So what's the best opening move? Empathy. And clarity.

Clarity is what happens in your mind. Empathy is what comes out of your lips.

When things don't go your way you have to be absolutely clear about what you would like to see happen.

You need an ideal outcome and an acceptable outcome.

That means you need to know what  you really want to happen and what you can tolerate. Think about that before you make a move. Challenge your own preconceived notions.

It's likely that what you think you need to have is wrong. Your emotions are making you protective rather than creative. Take a step back.

When you do something do it with empathy.

Even if a person or company or circumstance seems to be wildly unreasonable and unfixable, you should have assume that it was well-intentioned.

No one is out to get you.

It is just how things are right now. So speak from a place of empathy. Be approachable and relatable.

You do things that other people misinterpret as being unreasonable and unfixable. It's not just you and them, it's everyone who acts that way.

Put yourself in their situation. It makes all the difference in everything that follows.

If you're not thinking five moves ahead, you're already way behind.

Life isn't going to go your way most of the time.

It's on you to get good at adapting and being awesome in spite of the challenges you face.

BusinessStephen Palacino