Suppose surgery is coming soon that will inhibit you from doing several things that you love to do for 1-2 months. What frame of mind is best? How do you prepare yourself for this?
My shoulder surgery is Thursday. Once it is over, there will be a period of time on pain medication and living with my dominant arm in a sling. I’ve been describing this downtime as “going to suck.”
But will it suck? That’s up to me, isn’t it? How I perceive this time is one of the few things I can control. If I embrace the frame of mind that it will suck, it probably will. What if I took a different approach, and looked at it as a time for growth?
One of the tenets of Stoicism is premeditatio malorum, which reminds us to think about and prepare for the worst cases. Then, when these bad scenarios come to pass we are ready and prepared for them, and they do not have the negative impact they could have had on us.
What will I get to do now that I will be outside of my regular routine?
- I get to learn music theory (which I’ve avoided while practicing guitar).
- I get to read and study more jiu-jitsu technique and history (which I don’t do much of while physically practicing).
- I get to have more time leisure reading and watching movies.
- I get to improve the dexterity of my non-dominant side.
- I get to analyze my teammates from the sidelines.
None of these items suck. It is within our power and control to view situations with whatever lens we would like. Why use a lens that makes things suck?