How would your life be different if you stopped worrying about things you can't control and started focusing on the things you can?
I've been trying to write this blog for over a week now. Losing sleep over it because I couldn't come up with a topic. Losing sleep over a few projects that didn't go quite the way I had wanted them to. Losing sleep over an upcoming project that's going to push my creative limits... Losing sleep over...well, just losing sleep over the sleep I've been losing to worrying.
By a rough estimation, I figure I've lost a good 5 or 6 hours this week alone worrying about stuff. Stuff that, in the long run, doesn't matter. That's time I could have spent on much more worthwhile endeavors.
I figured out what to write for this blog post. Why did I worry about it? I resolved the issues with the projects that didn't go so well, and the clients are happy. So why did I worry about them? I have resources and talent to help tackle my upcoming design challenge, so why am I worrying about it? And, what really makes no sense to me at all is what a good night's sleep I cheated myself from had I not been worrying about all this stuff.
"But things arern't always going to work out the way you want them to, Chris," I hear you saying.
You know what I say to that? You're right. Things don't always work out the way I want them to, or the way you want them to. That's just the way life works. But, in the words of John Wooden, "things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out."
So a project ended up costing me money instead of making it. Rather than worrying about the bottom line, what if I instead were to look at that as a learning experience?
If I'm apprehensive about the upcoming project, what is it I'm apprehensive about? What do I need to do between now and that project's inception to make sure I'm prepared? Take stock of what you need to move forward. Do it and learn. Look at the project that wasn't such a huge success and really understand what didn't work - and why. Learn from that.
When you feel the familiar pangs of worry coming on, what if you thought of that pang as a giant neon sign flashing "learning experience!" Well, for starters - "worry" starts to become less worrisome and starts to become more productive and fulfilling. And the less you worry, the easier it starts to become to not worry in the first place.
Mistakes and challenges and problems are there to teach you something. When you stop looking at them as problems, and start looking at them as an opportunity to learn something new, that's when life starts to get really fun.