I’ve never met anyone who didn’t worry about something at some point or another. The things that are of concern to one person could very well be things that another person will never care about, ever. After having personally wasted too much time and energy worrying about things that I can’t do anything about, and even things that I can do something about, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not worth it to worry about anything.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t ever be concerned about anything, but first, evaluate whatever it is that you’re concerned with and determine if it’s something you, or anyone in your circle of influence, has the power to change. If scientists are right, the world is going to be devoured in a firey death in a few billion years. Is it something worth fretting over? I don’t think so, because even if I would be alive to experience it, there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Yes, something like the end of the world is a macro event and it’s very easy to see how it’s something a person can’t control, and therefore shouldn’t worry about. Here’s an example that you’re more likely to run into. The actions of other people. Think about it. As much as you’d like to, you can’t control what another person thinks or does, so why worry about it? Why let something you can’t control take up so much of your energy?

When it comes to the acts and opinions of others, it’s something that many people seem to think that they do have the power to control, and while you can certainly influence it, don’t fool yourself into thinking that anyone has the ability to force another person to do anything they don’t want to. Instead of worrying about what a person thinks, it’s a much better use of your resources to control the one thing you can do something about, yourself.

In the example of the actions of others, worrying about it isn’t going to affect what they think, but what will affect the outcome is what you do with their actions. Instead of quickly reacting, taking the time to process what happened and responding in an appropriate manner will yield a much better result. What about something less tangible? Something like worrying about your car getting broken into while you’re attending an event in a part of town you’ve never been to before? Instead of worrying all night, why not do the best you can ahead of time to find a good place to park and then enjoy yourself at the event? Your concern isn’t going to make your car any safer, so why take up time and energy pondering it?

Whether it’s the bully threatening to beat you up after school, your car potentially getting keyed in a sketchy neighborhood, the amount of your next utility bill or yes, even the firey demise or our planet, worrying isn’t going to help make the situation better. Make the effort to educate yourself about the situation, take any appropriate steps to prepare yourself, and then go on and life your life. It’s too short to be wasted contemplating every bad outcome, and if I’ve learned anything in my three decades on this planet, it’s that most of that bad stuff will never happen anyway.

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