That small percentage


Image by G. Isabella

A bit more than three years ago I moved to London, a city I’ve always loved since I first visited when I was thirteen. To me London always seemed to be so dynamic, vibrant and full of life. Moving to this big town has been a very big step for somebody like me who, coming from a small and rather different town like Venice, was used to a completely different way of life. London is dynamic, with an incredible variety of people and it allows you to explore everything you want, from work opportunities to underground poetry nights. Yet, on many aspects it might seem like a concrete jungle. People in the streets don’t talk to you directly, you need appointments to see friends and especially, differently from back home, nobody whistles in the street!

Adjusting to this new way of life was not easy, particularly because at that time I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, while for the first time I was away from my family, my girlfriend and my friends. It was in that period in which I first read a career book called “What colour is your parachute?” by Dick Bolles. in one of the first pages, the author wrote a very wise phrase to which I immediately resonated to. Speaking about the importance of hope in finding a job you like, he said: “It doesn’t matter how difficult the situation might be, there is always a percentage of things you can control”. In other words, regardless of what are you facing right now, there always is a 1% or 3% of things you can do which might improve your current situation.

I am not a control freak. One of my resolutions for this period is to let go completely the idea of foreseeing how things might turn out. Yet I still believe in the practical usefulness of that insight and in the importance of our actions (and mindset) in shaping the situations we face. This is particularly true in situations we find challenging or scary. Life is much bigger than our individual self, hence sometimes we might feel that the situations we face are just too much to deal with and they might seem out of control. However, if we look deeply we can see that there is always something we can do to improve the condition for ourselves and for those around us. These actions might seem small, barely noticeable, yet all together they can make a huge difference.

Some examples of things we can always do are:

  • have enough sleep
  • have a proper rest
  • do some few push-ups to distress
  • call a friend to have a chat
  • focus on our own breath
  • have a warm bath or
  • give ourselves a mental hug

So you who is reading, if you are facing something you find difficult, what is the simplest thing you can do today to make things better?

For a practical example of life’s big challenges here is a video of a cat:



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