Have you ever been presented with a problem on a Friday that you could not do anything about until the next Monday? There is a good chance it ruined your weekend because you worried about it the whole time. I have a question for you. Why? Why did it ruin your weekend? I’m going to guess your response will be something like “there wasn’t anything I could do about it so it just kept bothering me until it was taken care of” or “I tried all weekend to come up with a way to solve it, but couldn’t think of anything.” Did you ever try not worrying about it? It is much more effective than you think.
Earlier this year I was sitting in my dorm and decided to pull a sweatshirt down from my bed. To my surprise my mp3 player was on top of that sweatshirt right before it was bouncing off of the floor. It would have been safe to assume that after that beautiful dive from the lofted bed my mp3 player would no longer work. I still had to check to make sure, but my suspicions were proven correct when it would no longer turn on. Countless thoughts started running through my head, “there goes $260. What am I supposed to listen to music with now? How do I afford a new one? Maybe I can get the warranty to cover this…” and everything else you could think of. This lasted for all of about six seconds until I realized there was nothing I could do. At that point it didn’t bother me anymore, because of the fact that there was nothing I could do. The warranty was expired, I didn’t have the money to get a new one, and it wasn’t fixable. I just did what I usually do when I encounter a problem. Decided whether or not there were any immediate actions I could take, follow through on those actions and then put it out of my mind until more options are available. If you can’t do anything about a problem why should you waste your time worrying about it? The only thing you end up accomplishing is making yourself miserable while not solving the problem.
Back to the problem that occurred on a Friday and is not solvable until Monday. If you sat down and thought about your possible actions you probably would have decided the only thing you could do would be to send an email to someone either to make them aware of the problem as well (and consequently probably ruin their weekend as well) or to let someone know that the problem will be taken care of as soon as possible(Monday). I’m sure most people would recognize the second choice as the better of the two and by doing that you also allow others to relax knowing the problem will be taken care of and it wasn’t just ignored, not to mention that you will be able to enjoy your weekend now.
I try to apply this thought process to just about everything. I have seen far too many people fall apart and become miserable because of problems that should have never bothered them, or at least not for any longer than a few minutes. Some people will say this form of thinking is irresponsible. If anything it is more responsible than the alternative. You accomplish just as much while not letting problems affect your mood.
To repeat the main point. If you can’t do anything about a problem, why worry about it? Just let it go until you can do something about it. You will end up being a much happier individual in general.