“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.”
The British-American poet, known for his depiction of rural life, gives us a close-up into the daily life of anxiety, dissatisfaction, mental upheaval, and the continued struggle for survival in a majority of the world population.
You are the decision-maker in a large multi-national corporation, vested with the final authority to accept or reject a crucial M&A Deal. Your experience tells you to look for specific qualifying signals that might have escaped the negotiators’ oversight. However, the lurking competition is equally keen to put its foot in the door, forcing your Board of Directors to ask you for a quick decision. They are worried that your delayed choice could cost the company dearly. They are not willing to let the competition prevail. Can you quantify the possible losses in the event this transaction gets completed without addressing your personal, experience-based, logical concerns?
I hope you can relate to the far-reaching consequences of any oversight resulting from either hurry or worry.
Gone are the days of simple living where human needs used to be in direct proportion to supplies. The technology was not that advanced. There was no need for growth hormones to increase food production for the growing population. Most people found work within a reasonable distance from home so the families could have their meals together. It used to be a life of simplicity, with hardly any room for luxuries, show-off, or an endless race for the best, the biggest, and the fastest of everything.
The dynamics have changed so much that we are unable to accept any of the good things our customs patronized. Parents that show too much anxiety about their child’s habits, friends, pastime, and future decisions are considered intrusive.
Naturally, the generations taking over the reins from the old guard wish to experiment and experience everything on their own. These budding geniuses prefer to suffer every pitfall, disaster, and disappointment firsthand so they could find their solutions as per times.
Granted, they have more opportunities, much better facilities, more comfortable living, also much higher levels of education.
What we fail to understand, in the majority of the cases, is the fact that the new picture resonates with the primary hues of an immense curiosity that challenges the trends. If you want to reinvent the wheel, you will have to redraw the drawing board, right? How can you do that without an iota of worry? Now, imagine reinventing everything else that touches our lives, and you will end up opening the proverbial ‘can of worms.’
There is an ever-increasing competition across all spheres of daily living, from education to jobs, from choosing the right life-partner to owning the most elegant house on the block, from attracting customers’ attention to your wares, and to selling your services.
There are too many ‘slips between the cup and the lip.’ Given this scenario, how can you avoid the onset of endless worries?
Well, there is a ray of hope in the following advice from Henry David Thoreau, the famous 19th Century American Essayist, Poet, Philosopher, and Historian. He gave us such a powerful message of inspiration: “Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
We need to gather enough courage to bring our dreams to reality by building the foundations under them. Only our mental, physical, and financial preparedness put together can give us the right catalyst to accomplish this task.
Putting the foundations in concrete form is where we suffer the most significant setback. One of the most prevalent trends I have often observed contributing to this failure is the all too pervasive sense of urgency. We want every possible comfort, success, and luxury, but fail to make the necessary efforts to earn the same.
We need to specify our wishes in time-bound goals. Devising a plan of action to proceed on the path to that destination MUST take into account the required time-span. Our failure to take these simple steps leads to an endless amount of worry. The resulting diversion of our mental faculties pulls us away from the objective. Once we get into such a less-than-focused mode, we end up compromising success and face failure.
While discussing the subject of increasing worrisomeness, we cannot forget the negative impact of various outside forces, beyond our control. One of the primary ones among them is the rising levels of pollution. Air and water pollution happen to be the most prominent among them.
Alarming growth of smog and chemical pollutants due to rampant growth of small-scale industry in unregulated areas, especially in the developing countries, causes a lot more severe illnesses that cause a significant drain on a vast majority of the population. The resulting risk to their jobs and other sources of income brings in worries for survival.
Water-borne diseases are another primary culprit contributing to the rising levels of worry for the masses. Families falling prey to such calamities end up spending a significant chunk of their resources on taking care of their sick members. Lack of financial stability takes another heavy toll on the already impoverished workers. The resulting absenteeism costs the industry lost production.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America characterized ‘hurry’ in such beautiful words: “Fraud and deceit are ever in a hurry. Take time for all things. Great haste makes great waste.” We know it well how fraudsters and cheats are always in a hurry to get away after perpetrating a crime. In the majority of such cases, they get caught due to a slight oversight in their rush to make a quick escape.
Almost every accident, whether involving a vehicle, an aircraft, the railways, industrial, or residential, can be attributed to an overwhelming degree of a hurry. It is the element of ‘hurry’ that takes our mind away from the job at hand. The resulting disregard for caution leads to an avoidable accident.
At times, the food gets burnt on the stove because the mother got distracted by her child’s insistence on being fed right away. What caused the dry cleaner to burn a hole in your favorite shirt when you sent it for cleaning? Could it be his rush to get to the phone because he was expecting a call from his wife? In the process, he forgot that the hot iron was still on top of your shirt. Hurry made him throw caution to the wind and caused the damage.
I am positive each one of us can relate to any number of instances in our daily lives where one person’s hurry caused unprecedented grievance to many more people for no fault of theirs. It is up to us and nobody else to ensure that we stay away from both hurry and worry to eliminate possible pitfalls.
TRY IT; YOU MIGHT LIKE IT!