There are countless programs, movies, self-help books, and scheduling programs which promise to improve your efficiency, reduce your stress, and increase your creativity. What is it about these types of personal improvements that are so appealing to us?
Increasing our capacity while reducing our level of stress is appealing because of the potential it offers us. It seems attainable too. We have all had a day when we were hitting on all cylinders and the work just seemed to flow through us effortlessly. We have all had a day when we simply felt more relaxed and less stressed than other days. We also have all experienced how quickly these states seem to float away.
To be able to accomplish more and to be stress free is not some unicorn that only exists in the imagination of the gullible. This state is something that is attainable for each and every one of us — with practice.
Don’t worry, be happy. The song from the 1980’s has the ingredients we need to be able to tap into this potential we all carry. It requires us to look at a core piece — worry. While I know you’ve already acknowledged how pointless worry is, I want to take a moment with you now to take another look at it.
Worry is the thing we carry when we are thinking about something outside of the here and now. Yes, I know we all know this, but why do we continue to do it? Have you ever asked yourself that? Regardless of the answer you come up with, I think you’d agree that it is not helping you to tap into new sources of creativity, productivity, and efficiency.
In fact, if you really look at worry you’ll find that it is sapping your energy and blocking your ability to be more creative, productive, and efficient. So how then do we not “worry”, and instead just “be happy?”
For starters, it is impossible to worry when you are wholly focused on the activity you are doing right now. For example, right now you are reading this article. As you’re reading this article, you are breathing, you are thinking, you are hearing a voice in your head reading the words in front of you. You are here right now.
What happens next, when you fall away from the here and now, is you start thinking about what you are going to do when you are done reading these words. You begin to think about how much time you’ve already spent reading, how many emails you still need to get to, or about that thing you really need to find a solution for. That is when you leave this moment. That is when you start to sap your potential and throw away the very key to solving your problems.
So, stay with me for a minute. Stay with me here and now. This is the mindset which offers you access to more creativity, productivity, and efficiency. When you find your mind drifting away, pull it back to right now. Put your entire self into the thing that is in front of you at any given moment and you’ll be using your full faculty for each item in your day.
The end result is you will find the time just flies by, that you’re able to do the work better than you’ve ever been able to do it before, and that you literally have not worried about anything while you were working in the present moment.
What about planning? What about finding solutions for life’s problems? Planning is important, and you have the ability to set some time aside to do some planning. When you are planning, you’ll do so with your mind in the here and now. The key is that when you are done planning, you are able to set it down and get it out of your mind. It is when you cannot set something down or get it out of your mind that you’ll find yourself stuck, drained, and dragging unneeded worry around with you.
Everything boils down to a commitment. Commitments are the agreements we make with ourselves to achieve a particular outcome or complete a particular action. In this case, we are committing to staying in the present moment. When you get dragged out of the present (which you will), notice it, shake it off and bring it back. You may need to do this hundreds and hundreds of times until you get better at it. Your commitment to sticking with it will be your key.
As you get stronger with this skill, you’ll find the undeniable results springing forth in your life. These results will encourage you to continue to work on staying in the here and now; the results will be your reward for the work.
In the end you’ll discover the joy behind such a simple idiom, “Don’t worry, be happy.” You will discover how intelligence and peace grow exponentially when you gain control of your mind and use it to think less and create more — more than you ever knew was possible. This is the moment when you’ll understand why our official company slogan is “Worry Less. Practice More.”