“How many have laid waste to your life when you weren’t aware of what you were losing, how much was wasted in pointless grief, foolish joy, greedy desire, and social amusements-how little of your own was left to you. You will realize you are dying before your time!”
-Seneca, On The Brevity Of Life, 3.3b
Allow me to paint this all too common picture. You have a jam-packed day with little room for error. At this point you have been getting through work that simply has to get done. You have hardly gotten a bite to eat all day and have your head down cranking out emails when you look over and realize you have a flight to catch but have left yourself minimal time. You scramble to pack your stuff up and get out the door, you virtually hail your Uber and anxiously await it. The Uber arrives, you are heading to the airport and are in traffic. Completely stressed you are checking if there are backup flights just in case you don’t make it, but there is no backup. You get to the airport, go through the motions and start running for your terminal… you miss the flight.
At this point you are riled up, disappointed in yourself, and overwhelmed with anger. And you should be worried, you had an important meeting you had to be at.
But far too often we tend to drown ourselves in grief. This anxiety induced constant worrying is occupying your mind and takes over the day in a very negative way. It is a waste of time and actually not a useful or productive outlet in which to distribute your energy.
Here’s a good practice to keep in mind. Whenever you find yourself in a situation like the one above, remove yourself from your own head. Look at the scope of the situation from a bird’s eye view. Do this so you can realize maybe the repercussions of my actions today are out of my hands now. Then from the latter perspective you can clearly and practically decide what level of worrying you should actually be doing.
Now that you have concluded you don’t have to focus the majority of your energy to being in a constant state of worry, you can clear your head and take some effective action.
Your thoughts are not rooted in reality, they don’t have to be self-sabotaging.
Really start to become aware of where your energy is most effectively allocated. Then make your decisions predicated off that, not all off fear and emotion.