The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable. – Seneca
What does that mean?
Anxious. Nervous. Worried. The future can be a scary thing. However, being anxious doesn’t make it any less scary. Nor does it change the possibility that things will turn out in a less-than-pleasant manner.
Worrying about what the future will bring? That will make you miserable, or at least that is what the quote says. It will drive you crazy, or at least close to it. That’s not someplace I want to visit, much less live.
The quote implies that the future simply is. Whether you can change what is coming or not isn’t part of the debate. But worry isn’t going to make any difference. If you believe action can change the future, use your time and energy to act.
We only have so many hours in a day, week, or year. Wasting any time on worry, that’s time you can’t get back. I believe that time is better spent working to tip the odds in your favor, or preparing for the worst.
Why is taking action important?
I hope I have already established that worry is a waste of time. So, if we aren’t going to worry, what are we going to do instead? Taking action, to me, is a reasonable and useful thing to do. The question is what do you want to do with the time?
We can, as mentioned earlier, work to try to get the result we desire. We can also use that time to prepare for what the outcome might be. We might try to keep our mind off the subject by taking a completely unrelated action instead. Have you ever done that?
Taking action helps us to focus. Whether that focus is on the issue at hand, the future in general, or on a specific project, it keeps us too busy to be paralyzed by fear, anxiety, worry, or nervousness. Just that can be a great help in a troubling time.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I would use it at anytime and in any part of your life where you tend to stress or to reduce your anxiety. Take a moment to consider when you tend to be anxious. In school, it tends to be when significant grades are being earned or blown. Tests, projects, and the larger papers come to mind.
How does the stress impact your performance? Do you write best the night before a ten page paper is due? Or do you do better when you plan a little bit ahead, and write an outline a week before, then write a little each day? How different does it feel when you hand in the paper?
I can see how one of those paths could leave someone just a little worried, anxious, and miserable. The other path, to me, would leave me feeling quite confident that I had been able to put in the time and get things done well and right. It was planned it out, and action was taken.
What about relationships? Are you wondering if they’ll be willing to go on a second date? Or are you trying to present a good reason why they should? Which path makes you anxious, nervous, and miserable? Do you think they can tell if you’re not happy? Do you think that might impact their decision?
Again, from experience, the path that seems to work better is to put your best foot forward, give it all you have, and let the chips fall where they may. We don’t always get what we want. Hope and despair can become a roller coaster to hell, if you let it.
For me, it is all about doing my best. While there have been plenty of times when my best wasn’t even close to good enough, I didn’t have to be anxious, nor was I ever miserable. I was comforted by the knowledge that I did my best. What more could I do?
Think back to the last few times when you were anxious, nervous or worried about the future, or miserable because of it. Did you give it your all, did you take your best shot, or did you do a quick, half-way effort job of it, and then have to worry if that was going to be enough? I know the answer to that question for me. What is it for you?
What can you do to urge yourself to put a little more effort into the plan, and then to take action? Can you try to remember how awful it felt to be that anxious, that nervous, that worried? If you remember that terrible feeling when you’re considering delaying or procrastinating, might that help you get going?
To be anxious about something, you have to have at least part of your focus on that thing. If you are busy taking action, you should be focused on that action. If you were worried that you might be worried in the future, you should have taken action to get the best possible result, and avoid the anxiety, right?
In short, plan, take action, and await the results. The time you spend being anxious or miserable is time you should be using to make sure it doesn’t happen again by taking action on the next project, right?
So what are you waiting for? Make a plan, then take action. Give it your best, and be proud of your effort, regardless of the outcome. Learn from what you did or didn’t do, and do better next time.
From: Twitter, @Philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna154990.html
Photo by Alon
- Anxiety: Top Tips To Calm You Down NOW (peterhbrownpsych.com)
- Affected by Situation Outcome. What do You do when you’re Nervous, Anxious? (sparkaliciouswit.wordpress.com)
- Anxiety & Impatience (fearmastery.wordpress.com)
- Control Your Anxiety in 7 Steps (zodiaclivetarotreadingnews.wordpress.com)