What’s in your toolbox?

​The builder has a concrete mixer because he knows he’s going to mix concrete. He has a drill because he knows he’s going to make holes and put screws in. He has a selection of spanners because he knows he’s going to be tightening up a variety of bolts.

The builder understands the situations he’s going to face on the job, so he has assembled the tools needed to overcome them.

But what about us? Are we not builders too, except we don’t deal in bricks and mortar, but in ambitions and dreams and life itself? Should we not, like the builder, envision the situations we will inevitably face and build a collection of tools and resources that will allow us to overcome any situation that confronts us?

We should.

But what situations do we know that we are going to face throughout our lives? What situations are inevitable?

Everyone has to deal with death. Our lives will end, and in our lifetime, we will see people around us die. We will fail, sometimes spectacularly. We will succeed, sometimes to a degree we cannot comprehend. We will make friends and lose friends, build relationships and destroy them. We will have to solves problems, ask questions, find answers. We will have to deal with hate and anger and jealousy, in ourselves and others. We will experience happiness and joy and lust and pleasure. We will feel what it is like to be inspired and to have all the motivation and energy crushed out of us.

The world’s first builder didn’t know what he needed. He went forth with no tools, and when he came upon a new situation, he had to find or create a new tool to deal with it. And as more builders came into existence and were trained, the number of new situations diminished, and common tools for common scenarios were developed and passed on.

You are not the first human to walk the planet. Billions of people have experienced the situations that so vex and confuse you. Other people have already created the tools you require.

So rather than waiting for the inevitable to happen and then scrounging round for the tool, build your toolbox now, before you really need it.

But what is a tool exactly? 

A definition: “a device or implement used to carry out a particular function.” In our case, a tool is a concept, an idea, a framework, a process, a series of questions, a story or a source which enables us to understand and survive a particular scenario.

So now, I ask you, what’s in your toolbox? How are you going to deal with the inevitable?