I have often noticed that most of the time when I’m passively doing something — chores, meetings, etc., I drift into the realms of things that I really need to work on and finish.
Passively, one can only worry and get the brain in an agitated state. Its effect on me is usually a run-down state with stress while I radiate a sense of helplessness. I feel like a worrying weeping willow looking down to the earth trying to hide under somewhere – to whom the world looks grey, distant and difficult to fathom. Often, this happens even on the weekends, when I am consciously trying not to think about the work.
I have often wondered how to take control of my own life and these are the thoughts, I have been toying with these days…
There is a finite amount of time and in that time, I can do justice to only finitely many things.
Let’s accept that, first, and make it clear to all the people who care about those or get affected by those. In other words, make everyone’s expectations from you practical and just, given your “to-do” list and the timeframe to do them and yes, that includes yourself!
Plan and execute the ones that are feasible and then, simply chill!
That’s practically saying,
Karmanye vadhikaraste, ma faleshu kadachana!
Basically, it implies that: You have the right to do your due diligence in the deeds you do, but don’t let the results bother you. That’s simply because the result of your action is not solely dependent on you, it depends on the environment, and other people’s actions in the past and in the present, and is totally beyond your control.
Why worry about the results that you can’t control?
You can only change and control yourself and that’s already hard work! So, don’t think about things that are not happening now, be present at the moment, plan wisely, execute effectively and leave the worries behind you!
The question that naturally arises in my mind is can we change something in ourselves to handle our worries better?
The answer is: that it depends on who we are, how we are and what’s important to us.
Analysing the needs vs the wants
One day, my daughter came back from her kindergarten class with homework — she needs to do a table and list her needs vs her wants! She seemed quite pragmatic in distinguishing between her wants and needs while choosing from a pool of random things that the teacher asked her to classify.
I was so taken aback by that homework and felt so grateful that she went to a school where she was receiving proper education — just not academic exercises on literacy and numeracy, but also a good dose of exercises on values! I felt secretly proud of my year-long search for her primary school. It’s a tiny little school called New Lambton Heights Infants School in the city of Newcastle, NSW, Australia — in case you are curious.
The funny thing is: that we still need to do that classification at every moment in our lives. In any conflict, if we can think about only the needs and not the wants, most of our conflicts regarding prioritisation will get resolved without any bruises on anyone’s feelings.
There is a four-step approach in project management so that one can appropriately prioritize which project requirements will provide the best return on investment (ROI). MoSCoW stands for must have, should have, could have and will not have — the o’s were added to make the acronym more pronounceable.
It’s time, we all apply the MosCoW approach to our everyday life situations, bring some clarity, plan, execute and chill!
When I want to do something that’s not aligned with other people’s wishes, I feel betrayed, upset, lost and worried. Quite a relatable feeling, isn’t it? The only solution to that is to subtract your ego from the given equation (read, situation). Easier said than done, indeed!
But, one needs to start somewhere to get anywhere, isn’t it?
The lesson of detachment comes to play somewhat later in life for most people. When you start seeing that the things that you once thought were of utmost importance, are no longer holding the same place in your heart, you will start wondering about yourself. Life’s experience strengthens the sentiment that everything changes – the likes, the dislikes, what was interesting once seems like another item on the plate of life in a later period of time.
Sometimes I feel like a vessel that can be shaped, influenced, and carved according to the information that I receive and the environments that I embrace, let alone the heritage that I was born with. Suddenly, “I” vanishes in the logic of this biological machinery!
Sometimes, it’s good to look at past achievements when the worries about the future make us numb. The wars we fought in the past, victories that we gained and lessons that we learned are all positive outcomes that came from “us”. This reflection is necessary to boost our confidence – if we have been able to deal with things yesterday, why won’t we be able to deal with them tomorrow?
One could argue that there will always be something new to worry about. I think except in some specific cases, e.g., scientific discoveries, in most cases, old issues show up in new forms, just dressed slightly differently and that’s all!
Even if it is the first time to face a problem, an issue, a struggle, know that you’ve already done the most challenging thing in your entire life, you had come out of your mother’s womb when you were not even conscious of your “self”, so everything else is definitely possible to achieve, given enough time and effort!
So, have faith in yourself. This, too, shall pass!
Image Credit: By Peggy and Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay