Have a Strategy

ann-written-notes-silver-linings-playbookThis past weekend Rick and I saw Silver Linings Playbook.  And I have to say, two thumbs up for sure.  I would give it three thumbs up if that was an option.  The acting was incredible.  Who knew Bradley Cooper could pull off a lead role in a more serious film?  And Jennifer Lawrence was around 18 times better in this than Hunger Games.  It was funny, sad, emotional and romantic.  It was a story about love.  About facing flaws head on.  It confirmed that nobody has room to judge anyone because the reality is, we are all fricked up in some way.  But for me, the biggest lesson I got out of this movie was about having a strategy.  In the movie, Cooper’s therapist encourages him over and over to have a strategy.  When Cooper feels he is about to punch someone in the face, he has to have a strategy.  When he feels he is going to drink heavily, he has to have a strategy.  When he feels he is about to lose himself, he has to have a strategy.

And then last night I was finishing up an incredible book I am reading called Bittersweet and in the last chapter, the author, Shauna Niequist, talks about having a strategy.  In this case, the book being non-fiction, she is referencing her life, the ups, downs, the challenges that come across her plate each and every day as a mom, a wife, a writer, a friend, a daughter, a granddaughter.  It resonated with me again.  Even more than Silver Linings Playbook.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to punch a random guy in the face or scream profusely in an otherwise meant to be quiet space.  And in those cases it would be good to have a strategy.  But more often than not, my strategy will need to be drawn up in the everyday challenges, big and small.

According to the trusted source Wikipedia, a strategy is is a general, plan of action, encompassing a long period of time, to achieve a complicated goal.  In other words, it’s a game plan.  I tell my team it’s the how.  How you will get from point a to point b.  It’s what you pull out of your back pocket when you face the crap life brings you. Some of that crap could include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Working your ass off in your marriage (not inferring that marriage is crap…it just can be challenging and is something that for sure needs a strategy)
  2. Managing a totally annoying person at work
  3. Getting fired from a job
  4. Suffering a loss
  5. Raising kids you so love but sometimes you want to give a whack on the ass (oh come on, my mom totally spanked me and I turned out normal…sort of)
  6. Conversely, infertility
  7. Living a healthy life.  In other words, eating an American size portion of pasta for dinner, prior to that a loaf of bread with butter, salad with ranch dressing washed down with a bottle of 2001 Chianti is probably NOT the healthiest life and won’t help that weight loss “strategy” you have
  8. Living a single life while desperately wanting to find a spouse and get married
  9. And so on

So, it’s time for me to think about my strategy.  My strategy when the crap comes.  A proactive strategy.  I don’t have one right now and what happens is when the challenges of life come my way and my blood starts to boil, I can let my emotions determine my decisions.  I let my feelings dominate.  I may overreact.  Or under react.  I may lose sight of God and His truth and replace it with made up thoughts in my own head which is never good or productive.  I may worry and worry and have fear and anxiety over something that likely (and statistically) will never come to be.  What a waste.

Yeah, I need a strategy.  Just like Bradley Cooper did.  Do you have one?  Please share!  Oh and P.S. go see Silver Linings Playbook.  Loved.

{Image Source: http://www.newyorktimes.com}


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