I don’t know if it’s a result of my Italian heritage, passion for life, or simply a natural tendency toward nervousness but I’ve always been held prey by my energy level. It’s like I either have too much – or none at all. When the energy is flowing, I’m enthusiastic and ready to change the world. Yet, without clear areas to direct that energy, my overactive mind can sometimes, um, get me into trouble. I can easily begin over-analyzing things and fall into worrying. (This is where I must apologize to my children who seem to be the worry magnets when it comes to my wayward energy!)
But, I recently heard this quote and it really made of a lot of sense to me –
“Worry is a misuse of imagination.”
As a writer, I’ve come to honor and respect the realm of imagination. It’s where inspiration and intuition live – and I’ve seen firsthand how, with proper use, it can be utilized to create something beautiful out of nothingness. When we can hone the focus of our thoughts in productive ways – and then contribute our energy there – we can create awesomeness. But, if our thoughts and energy are not consciously geared toward a positive direction, we can also create turmoil in our lives.
It’s a powerful realization.
So many of us feel like we’re on a never-ending rollercoaster ride – thrown up and down – constantly reacting to the daily disturbances that demand our attention. When in truth, if we could simply realize that we are an integral player in creating what happens to us, we could change our lives.
There’s another saying that says,
“Where attention goes, energy flows.”
So, when I’m left with too much free time on my hands and I allow my mind to conjure up the vision of my son’s (who are actually pretty great people, by the way) engaged in all types of illegal, immoral and ill-advised activities, I’m actually condoning a negative use of my power. In those disturbing, imagined scenarios, I’m also allowing my body to experience the stressful reactions that I would have if they were true! In essence, I’m subjecting myself to torture willingly. Doing that isn’t helping them – and it isn’t helping me.
Of course, the reasons that we worry are honorable. We care about something. We want the best outcome and convince ourselves that if we can entertain all the potential obstacles then somehow we’ll be ready for them when, and if, they show up. But, according to experts, 85% of what we worry about never happens!
In fact, the study went on to say that 79% of the people whose worries actually did occur found themselves better prepared to handle these circumstances then they expected – and that they actually learned a necessary, life-changing lesson because of it.
When you do the math, that means that 97% of our worry is just the result of a fearful mind punishing us with exaggerations and misperceptions. It’s a waste of our valuable energy. Energy that could be focused on positive pursuits and used to create good in the world.
It’s reported that a French philosopher said this, over 500 years ago –
“My life had been filled with terrible misfortune: most of which never happened.”
– Michel de Montaigne
While we may have acquired many innovations since the time of Michel de Montaigne’s life, it seems that the human mind has not changed all that much.
Well, for me, it’s a new day, my friends! I’m determined to put this new information to use and use my powers for good. I am not destined to be the haggard, old Italian mother, sitting around in an apron and hairnet, worrying about her children! Who’s with me? Let’s kick worry to the curb and start using our energy to create a happy and prosperous future! I’m going to get started right away (just as soon as I call my son’s to make sure that everything’s okay.)
Let’s do this!
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Copyright © 2016, marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address. Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose, a Self-Help/Motivational finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards.