I’m older than most of you who read this blog. I said older, but not necessarily smarter. I have found though, that age tends to bring on a little more wisdom and perspective. So today, I’d like to ask you to allow me to step into the role of guide, and to share a thought with you as a mentor might with a mentee.
I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that hardly anything in this life is really “that” important. When I look back over my life, I know that there were always things that seem to be so very important at the time. They fall into the categories of urgent, crisis, bad experience, catastrophe, pressing problems, must-do-now’s, and “this is huge” types of things.
All of these life experiences seemed to be so big. At times, I felt like my very existence depended on their successful outcomes.
Even looking at my life today as I write this, I have these pressing issues to deal with:
- I’m launching a Webinar company in three weeks and I’m trying to figure out all the details and how to make it work.
- I “must” book a flight for the end of the month, and I “must” do it today.
- I have to create a talk for a week from now, and I’m not exactly sure what the subject will be.
- My youngest son Brock is thinking about joining the Marines. (Wow! Now that is a big one!!!)
- My oldest son’s girlfriend’s dog was attacked by another dog and seriously hurt last night. We don’t know if he’s going to be okay. Looks like at least $2000 in vet bills.
- I have a small “tax” matter (are any of them really small?) which I’m working on to resolve.
You get the drift. That was about 30 seconds worth of thinking.
But here’s the gist. Within two weeks—or a month at the longest, these will all be forgotten. They will be over with, and I’m serious when I say that these things will be “beyond recall.” They won’t mean anything to me at all, yet I’m spending plenty of emotional energy on them today.
You might be thinking, “Well, he doesn’t know the situation I’m having to deal with.”
If you’re experiencing it, I’ve probably experienced it myself, or I’ve walked through it with a friend.
Trust me, I know what “Bad” is…
But the good news is this—“Bad” doesn’t last forever. Nothing does. That’s good news!
So allow me to make a suggestion.
Don’t take things so seriously. Quit worrying. “Chill!” Stop sweating the small stuff. (Wish I’d written that book!) If you’re in a bad place right now, it will pass. As a matter of fact, you probably won’t even remember it within a few months anyway.
One of my favorite quotes is this:
“Worrying is a magical attempt to influence the outcome of something that can’t be influenced by worry.”
Read that again, slowly. Simmer on it. Let it settle in. Put it on a 3×5 card and place it next to your computer so you see it all the time.
I “dazzle” audiences when I say that. (Yes, I memorized it, and you should too.) At first they look at me with this puzzled look on their faces. “What did he say?” So I repeat it. And I watch the pencils fly as they write it down.
What this says to me is don’t worry about it. Period. You’re just wasting energy.
This really is the art of doing life well!
If you want to get a better grip on this, I’d suggest you read the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. It was written by Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.
He tells you about his observations of life, which by the way, are very pertinent to life in this day and age too. And then he offers up his conclusions in the last chapter. I’m going to ask you—no beg you, not to read the last chapter first. And if you’re not a reader, I don’t care. Read it anyway.
By investing this small amount of time in yourself, I believe you’ll begin to understand what really matters in this life. There are some things that you will face in this life which are worth expending worry over–but most aren’t.
It’s just a matter of perspective.