By BENJAMIN WILLIAMS
Life will never give us exactly what we want, 100 percent of the time. I know that some of you are saying, “Well, obviously.” To that I say “congratulations,” this article might not be for you. At the same time I am sure that a few of you out there may have asked yourself, “Why the heck not?” To that I say, “This piece is for you!”
Uncertainty. What a miserable word. Personally speaking, I tend to be a control freak. Almost every aspect of my daily life has to be planned, scrutinized, worried about, re-planned to account for that worry, and the cycle goes on. If I am lucky I will catch myself by about the third or fourth cycle, but I also know that I can spend far too much time stuck in the proverbial muck.
When I find myself floating through my thoughts with no end in sight, I often try to remind myself that no matter how hard I try, the odds of me predicting any situation’s outcome to perfection is impossible. As human beings, we tend to unknowingly take on the role of a fortune teller. We look at a specific situation, and then we try to map out the perfect way to achieve the most perfect of perfect results. We look into the clouded crystal ball of our own minds and create a mental picture of the outcome we foresee.
If predicting the future were really that easy, why then would we not all line up at our local lottery station and pick out the next mega jackpot numbers. The truth is, because we just don’t know. We can predict, we can make our best guess, but we can never know for sure, anything.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with trying to be prepared for a situation and how it may unfold. Preparation is good, it’s a natural survivalistic tendency that kept us all those years ago from being wiped out entirely by the world’s natural predators. Preparation is why mankind rules the concrete jungle that we live in today.
Next time you find yourself worrying, ask yourself, “Why am I not predicting a good outcome?” The simplest answer is because it is boring. Worry is a habit, first and foremost. Like any habit, the more complicated we make out the reason for us engaging in it, the harder it is for us to see how really senseless it is.
Next time you find yourself floating down river in worry without a paddle, try using these few simple tips to get you safely back to shore:
• Take a second to see what is right in front of you, instead of what you think may be there in the future.
• Focus that negative energy on something more beneficial and positive that you can control right now. Don’t waste it on what could be, use it for what is.
• Take a deep breath. Believe it or not, anxiety can be brought on by poor breathing habits that are often associated with worrying.
• Give yourself some credit. Just because you can’t foresee the future doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to handle whatever comes your way.
• Take a few minutes each day, where you tell yourself that you will find a quiet spot all on your own to worry. Start off with 10 minutes, and force yourself to worry about all those things that you have been trying to push out of your mind. When the time is up, start saving up the worry for tomorrow’s session.
• Let the worry go. I know, easier said than done. But seriously, try it. Just let it go, and accept that no amount of worrying about it is going to do you any real good. It’s like staring at a wall, worrying if your freshly applied coat of paint will look right. Until it’s dry, you just don’t know.
• Last but most certainly not least, do not worry if you can’t do these things I have mentioned “perfectly.” That’s the point, perfection is unattainable; it’s what got you in this position to start with. “Practice makes perfect” is just a saying. “Practice might make you more successful” is a better way to see it.