Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Why do we care so much about so many things? I was always taught that I need to watch the news, do our chores, make it onto the high honor roll, be a leader on my sports team, and the list goes on. There are so many freaking things that we are told we need to care about, and I don’t fully understand the original meaning behind that command.

Were we told to worry and care about this excessively long list of things for the fear of us not worrying about anything at all? I feel like that would be the last thing that would happen. It’s a very natural tendency to care about things. As humans, we constantly search for meaning in our lives with a deeply-embedded desire to leave the world a better place than when we were on it. At least you think this way if you are a Theory Y individual like me.

Anyway, I’ve been sitting in my hotel the past few nights on a business trip and I’ve obviously had plenty of time to think. I’ve had recurring thoughts about myself, my lifestyle, my purpose. With all of this I’ve had a difficult time relaxing and watching television, and I’ve had a hard time dealing with the fact that I have to eat out of delivery boxes with no way to exercise with weights. It’s not how I like to regularly live my life. This stresses me out if I’m being honest. I need my schedules, my gym, my kitchen, my books, my routines. At least I think I need it…

But while I was driving back from work with the man who has been teaching and mentoring me on this trip, I remembered a book I read by Dale Carnegie: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. It basically gives you a plethora of examples showing you the detriment of living in worry and the benefit of living without. It’s beautiful really, especially when you actually take his advice.

So here I am, for the fourth night in a row, sitting alone in a hotel room. I ate out at yet another restaurant, and I am without a proper fitness facility. The difference is that instead of worrying about how my life isn’t in my practical routine, I believe that everything is fine. In fact, I know that everything is fine. I’m perfectly comfortable watching a mediocre movie, in my mediocre bed, eating a mediocre snack, because everything is fine if I choose it to be.

With this thought stirring around, I thought back to my week. Why did I care so much? Why did I care so much about not being able to lift weights, cook my healthy food, and sleep in my own bed? I’m not always going to be on the move. I’m not always going to be in this same hotel room. It’s so temporary it’s a freaking joke. So why did I worry as if it was permanent? Even if it was permanent, I’d find a way around it. I’d find the healthy restaurants around me and join a gym for a month or so. It would be totally fine, because I would make it so.

So the answer is clear. Don’t panic. Don’t worry. Stop caring so much. Things may not be the exact way you wish them to be at the moment, but they will be. This too shall pass, and life will be the way it needs to be. The present moment is exactly as it was planned to be, and all we can do is accept it, be at peace with it, and be happy during it.

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