Think of someone or something that makes you happy, like a rainbow near your home. Photo / Will Johnston 030720rainbow
Am I the only one who is just so sick of speculators right now?!
Now it's not like me to quote from something remotely serious, let alone self-help based, but this week something of that nature really piqued my interest. Funnily enough, right at the same time I was sick of hearing how the country is one of two opposing things:
A: Going to hell in a handbasket and it's all doom and gloom.
B: Things are totally fine and are going to be nowhere near as bad as forecast.
Now, think of exhibit A & B above when you read this aforementioned quote entitled "5 Habits for Greater Peace of Mind"…
"Number 1: Limit Mental Time Travel:
One of our greatest strengths as humans is the ability to travel through time — remembering the past and imagining the future. But there are costs to spending too much time outside the present moment. For one thing, it's often stressful and taxing. Imagining hypothetical problems and how we might solve them is useful in small doses. But when it becomes our default way of thinking it can lead to chronic stress and anxiety. Getting stuck in the past and future can also mean missing out on the present."
Good point huh.
Like how many times have you thought about what you have to deal with and wondered how the heck you're actually going to make that happen?
Crazy the stress we chuck at ourselves.
Most of the time we want someone to blame for the stress. But our goals and standards and ambitious nature are to blame for at least the majority of it. If you had none of those things, then you'd have much less stress. But you also probably wouldn't be you. So you deal.
But I'm not here to "lessen the stress'n".
I just want to highlight the all too regular waste of time that predicting the future is. Outside of setting big goals, what's the point?
Like when has it ever worked out how you planned it? Long-term, the part of life that makes it alive is the uncertainty, right?!
Then add to that a global pandemic that has the world in its grip – and is tightening it outside this country – going up almost 200,000 cases per day globally.
Could you be happier to live where you live right now, when you selfishly think of it like that?
How could you possibly even hazard a guess at what your future holds right now?
Your career and things you've invested in financially are all up in the air. But, really, they always have been a few bits of bad luck away from not being what you had planned.
But, your loved ones are still your loved ones. You're possibly closer to them than you've ever been. Or you might have figured out you can't stand them for more than a few days at a time … Enjoy those school holidays. Lol.
Slightly contrary to my quote above, I never really liked that saying: "All you have is now." Because, well, it's not true. I'm pretty damn sure you have at least a couple of days. Like I'm pretty confident planning my weekend on a Thursday.
So I choose to believe that now is super important, but what you do over the next two or three days sets up what the two or three days after that might look like.
It's how I've lived my life for the past decade of it really.
For those who are over-thinkers prone to bouts anguish over the littlest/weirdest things occasionally (my hand is up), it's all about having something attainable to look forward to at least every few days.
So try something for me? For all decisions outside massive life ones, put that filter on everything.
Nothing is really in your control beyond the next few days. So plan just that time. Look forward to that. Prepare for whatever hardship that might entail. When you get part-way through the next few days, plan the next few after that.
If you focus on that, the things that come outside that time zone have a little less of a blow or an impact on your mental health, I reckon.
I learned this way of thinking in its truest form in Tonga. To me it seemed Tongans just lived that day; if they had enough food/shelter and their people close them they were totally happy.
If they needed more, they would go out and earn/get it, then live off that for a few days until it ran out.
When you take away all the expectations you put on yourself, life seems easier somehow. Especially in the uncertain times we live in.
Failing all that, take a big breath, think of someone or something that makes you happy (like a rainbow near your home) and have a wine. That works too.