I recently did a “Worry Free Day” meditation, and was amused to find that I’m not really worried about anything. These days I have things I care about, but my general response to things going wrong is, “I’ll be fine.” For example, when a torrential downpour hit during my commute home, I considering freaking out like I usually do, and inching down the freeway. Instead I decided to imagine that sweet moment when I’d pull into the garage, get out my car, and enjoy being the driest of the dry people.
I didn’t wake up like this, though – I had to change my goals and take a pay cut to get to this point in my life. I just got tired of worrying about things I couldn’t change and started refocusing on the things I could. Instead of worrying about what crap the next workday would bring, I found a job I didn’t dread. Instead of worrying about not meeting my goals, I acted on them.
Stress is a cousin to worry. When you get stressed, it’s natural to worry, to think about all the things you need to do or the decisions you need to make. But I heard somewhere that stress is just a signal that something is important. That was a mouthful, because I tend to think of stress as an anvil, but now I try to see stress as a jetpack. I turned my worry into excitement–my stress wasn’t the result of a problem, it was the result of an opportunity.
The last time I started to worry was when I had to do a presentation for a reporter. I wanted to show off my mad skills without saying something that could haunt me later in life. In the days leading up to the presentation, I talked it out with a couple people, but they kept saying, “I’m not worried. You’ll do fine.” Eventually, I had to justify their confidence by adopting it – if they weren’t worried, why should I be? I did what I could to prepare and had faith in the rest.
I kicked ass.
Faith is pretty much the most important part of living “worry free.” Being able to see the finish line or trust the process is the best way to face your worries with the “why tho?” face. Why worry when you’ve done all you could? Why worry when you know everything’s gonna work out? Why worry when you can get up, get out, and do something? Why worry at all?