Assume red lights

At work, it seems the happiest and most productive people are the ones who expect the unexpected. Yes, it’s a cliche, but it’s undeniably true. (I could have also said, “Assume the worst.”) There are too many factors at the workplace to believe things will go a certain way. Most of our frustration derives from thinking x should have gone this way, but instead, x went that way. Why not walk through the front door realizing the grand plan has not been bestowed upon us and never will be?

Of course, this applies to all areas of life. Understand that people are not understandable, and then they’re way easier to love. It’s when we create a paradigm that others should act within that we encounter unfairness issues in our heads.

It could be my Seneca-saturated mind, but instead of assuming the best case scenario, try assuming the worst. “But that’s so pessimistic!” No, I don’t think so. Imagine this: In lieu of assuming you’ll make all the green lights on the way to the grocery store, assume you’ll catch all the red ones. You’ll be pleasantly surprise when the lights are green, instead of brooding over the unfairness of life.

At work, assume that coworker will act the way he always acts, or that client will always suck up too much of your time, or that computer will freeze if you use it, or the manager will edit your copy–even if it doesn’t need to be edited.

This is proactive positivity. You’re meeting these challenges head on. And if the dice happens to roll in your favor, then you’ve been given jet fuel to propel you through the uncertainty that will surely come up ahead, just around the bend.

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