Let’s be honest. It’s virtually impossible to not experience some forms of worry, especially if you’re a parent. We worry about our kids’ safety, our own health and longevity to be around to take care of them, our financial security, the planet. But here’s 7 things you can stop worrying about in the New Year – all part of the formula for living a happier life.
If you’re in the cool crowd, you already know that FOMO means Fear of Missing Out. I’m not in that crowd, so I had to ask someone. Let 2014 be the year that you drop this fear. Instead of ensuring that you never miss out on anything, FOMO does the opposite: it makes you not enjoy the thing you’re actually doing because you’re too focused on what someone else is doing. Let it go.
2. Being “Behind.”
Maybe you took 7 years to do cool stuff between college and law school. Now your college friends are partners in their law firms while you’re still making your way up the associate ranks. You’re so sick of being “behind.” Get over it. The only path you can possibly be on is your own, and how can you possibly be behind yourself. Stop worrying that you’re behind others, and focus on your own stuff. You’ll move forward a lot more quickly that way.
3. Whether Your Kids Think You’re Cool.
They don’t. You’re not. Well, you are, but not to them. Of course there are exceptions to this. If you’re Jada Pinkett Smith, perhaps. But generally, your kids don’t appreciate your coolness. Rather than trying to be their friend, be the unconditionally loving, reliable, supportive, and stable parent they need you to be. Your peers will think you’re cool, and your kid will grow up cool thanks to your good parenting.
4. Whether Your Vote Matters.
Don’t tell me you don’t have time to get to the polls because your vote doesn’t matter. It does. It’s time to scrap that silliness and vote. Not just for President, but for all that local stuff too. Yeah, there are a lot of slimy politicians out there, but I can tell you from meeting a lot of people in politics that most of them are in it for the right reasons. They give up fancy paychecks and their family’s PRIVACY, to try to serve their communities. Give them – and the democratic process – the decency of showing up to the polls to exercise your right to vote. Bonus: Your kids will grow up with a sense of civic duty, which is a good thing.
5. Whether You Picked the Best Spot for Your Next Vacation.
I know: hashtag first world problems. It’s true. But really, I have had more than a couple of clients tell me they stress so much about where to go (and where to stay) on their next vacation that they end up not going at all. The fear of picking the not best one paralyzes them. Isn’t a vacation at the second best, or even fifth best place better than no vacation? Just saying. Stop letting the desire for “perfection” get in the way of action.
6. Whether Everybody Likes You.
If you’re modifying who you are – you know, playing up some aspects of yourself and playing down other aspects of yourself – so that you can attract various different people, the only one losing out is you. Yeah, you may find a lot of people saying or thinking they like you, but you’re not inviting authentic and genuine connections into your life. People who see you, the real you, and still want to stick around – those are the people you want in your life. The ones that like you – and love you – for you. Those that aren’t your biggest fans: no worries. You probably aren’t theirs either, so no loss.
7. Worry. I know. I just said worry.
But I’m serious with this one. Worry is the most useless and unproductive happiness and productivity killer out there. Don’t get me wrong. Genuine concern for self and others is a totally different animal – and a very important human experience for the survival of the species – but no amount of worry will equip you to better meet what the future has in store for you. Or as so eloquently said by Santideva, “If the problem can be solved, why worry? If the problem cannot be solved, worrying will do you no good.”
Happy New Year to you. I would love to hear in the Comments below what YOU commit to stop worrying about in 2014. Remember, your life is your time, and your time is right now. So take this New Year as your opportunity to set a clear intention for what kind of life you want to live, and then wake up each day affirming that intention. To our health and happiness!