If worrying adds nothing to my life, why worry?

Sitting writing my journal recently, I thought about the challenges that have cropped up in my own life and the lives of others around me in recent weeks as we all try to make sense of our new ‘normal’ having experienced the heartache and disruption caused by the pandemic.

Life can be relentless. It also presents a moving target that morphs unpredictably and inexplicably from one shape or form to another. As it turns out, the stuff I was stressing over in January didn’t come to pass but something much more significant in the form of Covid-19 came flying in from left field, sending the world (and me) into an, until then, unthinkable state. I couldn’t have dreamed up the story that continues to unfold around me! It all makes Januarys worries feel like child’s play to be honest, and completely wasted the ‘worry capital’ that I had lavished on the problems of the day at the time.

Thing is, I’ve lived through it all without the luxury of a dose of long term pre-worry and stress! And here I am, writing an article!

Believe me, had I known this was coming, I would have redirected my ‘worry-capital’ investment, borrowed more from a reliable source and hurled myself wholeheartedly into a worry frenzy second to none in preparation for the event. Because it all happened so quickly, I was forced to take each day as it came, to adjust my plans accordingly as I used the opportunities that presented themselves to get through and to prepare as best I could for the end of lockdown.

I concluded, as I wrote my journal, that if I had worried, Covid would have happened. If I didn’t worry (which I didn’t because there wasn’t time), Covid happened anyway. The moral of the story here is that worry adds absolutely nothing to my life. Not one jot, one minute, one anything. It’s a negative, life-draining pastime that divides my mind, causes me to doubt and second-guess myself as I live through unspoken arguments and imagined crises that may or may not occur.

In my experience, most of the scenarios I’ve imagined and worried over didn’t turn out as I had imagined anyway and I was forced to deal with each unique event as it unfolded at the time. Worrying does nothing to prepare me for the realities of life.

I have to prepare as best I can, and deal with whatever comes my way when it happens.

In the case of the more negative events that have happened in my life, I have noticed that when they have passed by and I navigate new waters, life carries on. My environment might be different, my world may be altered forever, but when push comes to shove, I get out of bed in the morning, brush my teeth, earn my keep, and get on with the business of living. If worrying is not going to change anything, and I’m going to get on with living in my new reality whatever the outcome, why worry?

Ryan Holiday writes in his brilliant book entitled The Obstacle Is The Way, that “…behind mountains are more mountains….Elysium is a myth. One does not overcome an obstacle to enter the land of no obstacles. On the contrary, the more you accomplish, the more things will stand in your way. There are always more obstacles, bigger challenges. You’re always fighting uphill. Get used to it and train accordingly…”

With this in mind, I suggest that it is essential to focus on where I want to end up, not on where I’m headed! In the moment, it might look to all intents and purposes like I’m heading for a wall, but if I have planned a different outcome, now is the time to focus on that outcome and do everything and more that needs to be done to turn my ship towards it!

Adopting a mindset that actively seeks out the opportunities to be found in solutions to adversity, seek to do well because of the situations that arise, not in spite of them, effectively becoming an “Obstacle Invertor”.

Doing this won’t guarantee, but will increase the likelihood of success — a far more productive approach than hours of soul destroying worry.

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Dario Bucceri

Dario Bucceri

I want to be part of building a better world, one in which people care for and treat others in the same way that they would prefer to be cared for and treated