There a lot of things in life we can be prepared for – tests, parties, job interviews – but there are even more things in life you can’t really see coming. Those are the things we seem to worry about the most. Our love lives, our jobs reviews, and so many other cards we are dealt. The thing is, you CAN be prepared. You might not have all the answers but you can be ready for the outcomes.

I feel like I am highly qualified when it comes to this topic. Graduating college is one of those life situations we all think we are prepared for and then suddenly we realize that we have no idea what we’re doing.
It kind of just feels like you grasping for pieces of a puzzle that doesn’t really have a full picture, no real purpose.
If there is no real purpose then why did I go to college? Why did I stay up till 3 am in order to get good grades? Why am I not uber successful right out of the gate?
All good questions.
It’s tough stumbling in the dark. Whether you are a recent college graduate or a couple who has an unexpected third child on the way. Life favors no one.
The best things we can do are prepare. This can seem ridiculous because we do prepare in conventional ways like going to job interviews or using birth control. The things we seem to forget are the worst situations and most importantly our mental health.
A good percentage of the time we hype our selves up into thinking that nothing could go wrong. Or the alternative you just get so busy with the day to day struggles we seem to forget the what ifs.
Now before everyone goes off and says “but you always say to be positive and don’t put negatives into the world!” To this, I would say your right. I don’t believe in saying negative things or even allowing myself to state my current situation (EX: I’m poor or I’m awkward.)
What I do believe in is recognizing that life is not going to accommodate ignorance just because you’re being positive. That means we need to be prepared.
I just graduated and I realized that there are so many ways I could have prepared myself better – more savings, more interviews, and more contacts. What I didn’t think I needed to prepare for was my mental health. Lucky for me all of 2017 prepared me for that.
I became mentally tough through every heartbreak, failure, and moment of weakness. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as I was. Not everyone has a flip switch in their brain that just tells them one day that “I am invincible.”
Actually, when people have their expectations shot down they crumble. It’s okay to crumble for a little bit to let the hurt seep in, but the point is to taste it and then never want to drink it again.
That is what happened to me. I went through so much pain that I finally said ENOUGH. I will not let life dictate my emotions or my outcomes. That is when I became mentally tough. Not because I am some superhuman with the capability of only being positive. I have never met someone who is just born with that capability.
What I realized though is that I wasn’t prepared for any of those mental knockouts I took – but I could’ve been.
Instead of just expecting everything to turn out okay, I should have been honest with myself. Plan for the worst but only expect the best. That is what I was missing; planning for the worst.
Now I plan, I think methodically, I assess, and I don’t forget the what-ifs. Because those are what keep me from failing. I don’t focus on failure or let it keep me from being successful but rather I let it push me towards success.
Be prepared for everything, the good – the bad – the ugly. It’s a mental game, life that is. The moment you give in to the sadness and self-pity, you’ve lost. Life could care less who wins and who loses, but you know what? I do.
So should you.

Featured Image by my friend Raj.