Worry, Worry, Worry. People worry all the time. I worried so much that it contributed to a massive stroke that nearly killed me. I know people who are nearly paralyzed with fear because of excessive worry. I know others who will, like I was, be in the hospital (or worse) in a few short years because they worry so much. Worry sucks the enjoyment out of life.
My stroke drastically dissolved my worry filter. I do, say, or think things often now that would have had me totally freaked out worrying before the stroke. I have managed to keep that filter mostly turned off.
Worry is often good – let us not forget that. If you are standing on the roof of a 10 story building, the idea of doing the Matrix thing and jumping off might pass through your head, but worry should keep you from doing that activity (and that is a good thing). If you enjoy playing the lottery, buying one ticket is not so bad; however, worry about your financial ruin should keep you from spending your entire paycheck on tickets so you have a better chance to win.
I sent out an email today to two people and forgot to put their addresses under BB for blind copy. It is my habit to do use BB a lot because I don’t want to be the one to pass out everyone’s email address to someone who shouldn’t have it or would misuse it. I believe I did a post on this a long time ago, but, the gist was that I took one email in which about 50 people’s addresses were listed and by following some of those back a letter or two, I managed to get about 200 email addresses in around two hours. I sent a new email to all of these people telling them how I got their email address and how to stop it with BB. Some people listened. Others did for a short time. Of course, what these people did not realize was that email bots can scan other emails and get these addresses for use in spam emails.
Regardless, I chose not to worry about this small mishap. Normally, I would have worried for quite some time. It’s nice to not have that pressure to worry anymore, but I know most people who worry still would. I have some help for those people. It is an exercise that did help me with some of that worry and could help you, too. It is called the “Blowing things out of proportion” exercise. Here is how it works:
Let’s take my example of the email addresses. The step is to, first, take the reality, and then to “blow if out of proportion” so completely that is becomes stupid.
1) The two people, male and female, now know each other’s address. (Reality)
2) The male writes an email to the female, asking if they can write. (harmless)
3) They do and the male develops a crush on the female. (married)
4) The male now decides he must have the female. (obsession)
5) The female tells him no. (most likely)
6) The male pushes and obsesses. (needs therapy)
7) The female gives in and they begin writing more lively emails. (possible)
8) The female’s husband finds out about the emails. (likely)
9) The female ends up divorced from her husband. (yep)
10) The female now begins seriously pursuing the male. (It could happen)
11) The male, already obsessed, quits his good job and moves to the state with the female. (why didn’t she move out there?)
12) They move in together. (as likely as anything else)
13) The male cannot find a job and begins drinking. (Statistical)
14) They begin fighting and the male, in a drunken stupor, kills the female. (stay with me here)
15) The male is arrested and charged with first-degree murder. (Bad lawyer)
16) The male is executed after several miserable years in prison. (could happen)
17) The male’s mother finds out how the couple met. (the Internet at work)
18) She sues me for contributing. (You can sue for anything)
19) She hires great lawyer and mine is very busy, I lose and have to pay $100,000.
I think that it’s fair to say that me losing two friends, one dead, being sued, and having to pay $100K is stretching the situation more than just a bit. Now, as you read through your own fantasy trip, let yourself laugh, get all smiley at it…got it? Good. Now, realize how stupid that sounds and how that won’t happen and what you are really ultimately worried about won’t either (almost never does).
Now, rest and thank me later!