I remember an old Supertramp album as I was growing up, and actually that has nothing to do with this blog…….. Or does it? As a reminder or for those who may not be old enough to recall, the album cover depicted a man in a lawn chair with an umbrella relaxing with a drink. The man clearly very content while the background or setting was a desalted and disconcerting surrounding of destruction portrayed in black and white, while the man’s image was in colour.
Ultimately the message was one of being oblivious to your environment of crisis or was it that you can handle anything?
I have recently encountered many people in my circle of connections who explain to me they are in crisis;
- Loss of employment
- A struggling business
- Family issues
- Marital problems
And the list goes on. So what is a crisis? Well the definition in Wikipedia is:
A crisis (from the Greek κρίσις – krisis; plural: “crises”; adjectival form: “critical”) is any event that is, or is expected to lead to, an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society. Crises are deemed to be negative changes in the security, economic, political, societal, or environmental affairs, especially when they occur abruptly, with little or no warning. More loosely, it is a term meaning ‘a testing time’ or an ‘emergency event’.
So based on the above I’m not going to minimize or discount any of the situations I identified above or that I am aware of in my circle. They are all real, they are all being dealt with by real people who are experiencing great turmoil. There is sadness, stress, and anxiety very apparent in each scenario. I subscribe to and would encourage the notional belief that “You are only given what you can handle”.
So why worry about those things you cannot control?
If you looked back a day, a month, even a year ago and assessed the results I suspect what you worried about then is nowhere close to what you’re experiencing now? Dale Carnegie, in his award-winning book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” speaks to the fact that it is rare that what we worry about ever materializes? Apparently, there is a stat that we spend on average two solid years worrying inside the average persons lifetime. Can you imagine spending two solid years in a negative state of worry? The potential impact it would have on your body, your life, your career?
There is an acceptable amount of worry or concern that can exist in your life without impacting you mentally, physical, or emotionally. Productive worry involves things you can control, such as having enough time to make it to your destination or even completing all your required tasks at home or work. These actions can be controlled, can be tweaked to have different outcomes. On the other hand, unproductive worrying consists of things that you have absolutely no control over, those that lead you down the “what-if” trail that often never ends. To have the thought “if I worry I can prevent this bad thing from happening or catch it early” is simply not true. Ultimately unproductive worrying is self-defeating in all areas of your life.
It is best to in a joyous state…… Know that 99% of worry does not materialize, that you are only given what you can handle… So take it on to be thoughtful… Be authentic and keep the faith.
Remember the only thing you can control is your attitude and how you react, that is a choice! Choose to be positive and work through every issue with positive idealism.
The real power is in choice.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
— Corrie ten Boom.