We are more often frightened than hurt: and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.

We are more often frightened than hurt: and we suffer more from imagination than from reality. – Seneca

When I was little, this guy lived in every shadow, and under every couch or bed.

When I was little, this guy lived in every shadow, and under every bed.

What does that mean?
Given that this is October, and the scariest night of the year is just a few weeks away, this is a very appropriate quote. This is what being frightened is all about, for those who like it.

We usually imagine the worst, and are relieved when it turns out to not be all that bad. However, that rush is part of why some people like thrill rides or thrill based events or movies.

The monster jumps out, and you’re sure you will be eaten. The roller coaster drops suddenly and you’re sure you’re going to be dashed to the ground below. That is good fun, but it isn’t any way to live the rest of our lives.

We often find ways to scare ourselves into inaction or inappropriate action based on what we think might be happening. That is our imagination fearing the worst. But how often is it really that bad? In my experience, almost never.

Why is anticipation important?  
Yes, it is important to anticipate the worst likely outcome and have an option for what you will do in that case. Note that I didn’t say the worst possible outcome. If we planned for that, we would never leave our beds, as we might slip and fall in the bathroom and die from a head injury, right?

So we must put some limits on our imagination and plan for the more likely possible outcomes. Yes, it is possible that something you didn’t anticipate will occur. We need to be flexible and be able to accommodate other outcomes by thinking on our feet.

But anticipation is a double-edged sword. Too little, and we are surprised far too often. Too much, and we are worried unnecessarily. Neither path is good, as both waste much of our time and resources of emotion and energy. That time, emotion, and energy could be put to better use getting things done, right?

Where can I apply this in my life?
I believe that we all suffer from our imagination from time to time. The trick is to only go there for fun, or the very infrequent moments of weakness. At least that is how I try to do it. How often do you let your imagination run away with you, and imagine the worst?

If you spend more time worried about the worst possible result or outcome than the more likely result or outcome, you might want to consider working on worrying less and keeping a clear head more often than not. Yes, it is easily said, but it can be done.

Usually we have a reason for our feelings or attitudes. If we are constantly worried, I would wonder what has happened in the past which put you in the frame of mind that things would continue to go badly for you? Did you have one traumatic experience, or a string of bad luck?

I believe it is important to find the root of the problem so that you can better understand how to remove it, or at least work around it. Please take a moment and consider when you are most apprehensive, worried, or misuse your imagination by considering only the worst possible outcome.

From your experience, or experiences, you have developed a belief, and that belief is one of the forces which drives you and your imagination. Think about what happened, and what conclusions you might have drawn from the events. How do they fit in with your beliefs about what is going to happen?

With those thoughts in mind, what can you do to un-make those beliefs? Let’s start with your beliefs. What beliefs do you think are most closely tied to you expecting the worst? Do you believe you deserve it? Do you feel unworthy of anything better? Do you not really want to do better?

Where did you get the evidence to support those beliefs? Take a moment and try to find some examples which you think support your belief. Now take a moment and consider if there is any other explanation for them. What else could have been the reason? Bad luck? Wrong place at the wrong time?

Can you come up with an alternative reason for some or most of these things? With those new reasons, can you come up with a different belief, one which doesn’t always assume the worst? Yes, bad things happen from time to time. But that doesn’t mean we have to spend our time imagining the worst every time.

It can be fun to be frightened at a movie or in a haunted house. But that’s no way to live your life. There is so much more to do with your time than fret, worry, and anticipate the worst possible outcome. Live your life. Anticipate that sometimes things will go badly, but try not to dwell on it.

From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna108608.html
Photo by Insomnia Cured Here

About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in belief, caution, fear, plan, reflection, worry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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