In 1999, Baz Luhrmann released a spoken word single Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen). It provides general life advice to the graduating “class of ‘99”. In it he says:
“Don’t worry about the future.
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind.
The kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”
I have always liked that approach. How often have you spent a night (or more) worrying about something coming up the following day, only for the main issue or concern on that day to turn out to be something totally different than you never saw coming and the thing you were worrying about passing by without incident. Most of us are currently living that existence right now. At the start of the year most of us would have had some worries or concerns about the upcoming year ahead, but how irrelevant do they seem now? COVID 19 has come from no-where and provided us all with a whole lot of new and never before considered challenges.
And now within the world of lockdown there are new worries and things to manage. However, I am amazed by how many people seem to be getting worked up by problems that MAY happen down the line. I am not for one minute suggesting that we don’t give any thought to life after lockdown, but there are currently so many unknowns and uncertainties that getting stressed about them can’t be healthy. Especially when currently, we can’t do anything about them.
When I am working on big cases it is important to plan and make contingencies. This involves gathering the best information possible and putting it together in a sensible, logical way. However, even with the best planning and execution, things will happen that will require modification and adjustment to the original plan. Worrying about everything that may happen at every step from the outset would paralyse any progress and prevent anything getting done. So my approach is to know the end goal, but deal with each step individually along the way, thus ensuring that time and energy are not spent worrying about things that will probably never happen allowing me to be prepared to deal with being blindsided “at 4pm some idle Tuesday.”
As we live through these uncertain times it is important to think about the future. However, in my opinion, it is not beneficial to stress and lose sleep about everything that may happen. Because by the time you get there a lot may have changed, and your stress may well have been for nothing.
As my daughters will gladly tell you, I am doing a great job of cultivating my grey hair- I don’t need to add unnecessary stress to further speed up the process!
Stay home; stay safe; give Baz a listen.