Happy February, beautiful someone! Please enjoy this excerpt from Yes Changes Everything!
We’re going to worry. It’s just part of being alive and involved in life — in a relationship, career, house, body, family — there’s a lot to worry about. But what if we thought about it this way:
It’s not worth worrying about things we can change because we can take action to change them. We can do things to influence them to move in the direction we want them to go. So instead of worrying, we can simply take action and know that we’re doing everything we can to move these things in a good direction.
It’s also not worth worrying about the things we can’t change because we can’t do anything about them: the weather, interest rates, other people’s choices and behavior… So, if we can’t do anything to change them, it’s pointless to worry about them.
It’s a way of thinking about The Serenity Prayer by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Now if you knew me personally, you’d be on the floor right now, laughing so hard. Because I am the OG worrywart. I can sometimes stay up all night worrying about everything, anything…it doesn’t really matter what, just a bunch of things that rotate in the carousel of my mind.
To wit: one night not long ago, I couldn’t sleep because I was worried that I couldn’t find my right clog. My right clog. Where had I left it? It’s from the only pair of clogs I own, and I wear them every day. They’re Dansko, translation: not cheap. If I couldn’t find the right clog, well the left all by itself wasn’t going to do me any good. I’d have to buy a new pair, which was something I couldn’t drop $150 on right then. So I literally worried about finding my right clog.
Then the carousel in my head rotated to jury duty. I’d been called and already postponed twice, so I had to go. But of course my jury service date fell on the same day I was able to schedule a meeting with a book publishing genius who I had been dying to meet who had like zero availability. What to do, what to do, what to do?
Then the carousel rotated again, and next up was —
“Okay, okay, okay — I get it!” I hear you scream. (I feel for you, I really do, beautiful someone 😊.)
The point is, I may sound very philosophical about worry, but I am not.
Puppies and rainbows
One thing that does work for me though: action and more action. I do feel better when I am taking action on something, whether it’s something I’m worried about or a goal I’d like to achieve. As long as I am moving, I can’t worry about the things I can’t change.
My motto: “The only thing I can absolutely control is how hard I work.”
When I know I’m taking action to move the things I can change in a good direction, I just sleep better. The carousel in my head rotates with puppies and rainbows.
So maybe let’s just rename worry to action planning — you and me Superperson, let’s go!