Here’s a simple, but interesting concept I’d like to throw at you today.
How much time and energy do I spend worrying about the future? I might lose my job. That next appointment with the doctor might not go well. We don’t know how the new US Health Care law will impact us personally.
What these statements have in common is that there’s really not much I can do about them today – at least not directly. As a result, I’ll spend a lot of useless energy just worrying, not moving into action. And I’ll probably be talking to others and causing them to also spend their precious time and energy just worrying.
Here’s my conclusion: Either change it to something where you can do something useful, or don’t worry about it now. Worry about it later on, when it will make a difference.
OK, so that doctor’s appointment might not go well. Worrying about it doesn’t help, it just makes me depressed – and perhaps the worry itself will make me sick. If I decide to DO something – eat more healthy food, exercise a bit more – then I’ve now made it into something useful. The worry propelled me to take action.
Yes, I might lose my job. That would be incredibly depressing, sure. But if I don’t take some action out of it, it was just wasted energy. So I need to decide whether I need to start looking for other possible jobs, or to do some career planning, or to change the relationship with my boss – something that actually can address what I’m concerned about.
How It Helps
Notice that those actions don’t increase my level of worry, they actually decrease it. That’s what I meant by “useful.” Worrying itself just sucks up energy and keeps you stuck, so you don’t want to stay there.
It’s also perfectly fine to decide to do nothing. After all, we only have a limited amount of time and energy to work with. In that case, exercise “Just-in-time worrying”: Only worry about it when it makes a difference. When you actually do lose your job, THEN let the worrying propel you into taking bold, decisive action.
THEN it will be useful.
by Carl Dierschow