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Jason's Rule #1: If you don't control it, don't worry about it.

I have a number of “rules” that I adhere to in life. I find them quite useful. In recent weeks I’ve been defining them and sharing. That is the point of this post, and several that will likely follow. I have found these rules to be extremely helpful, so I think they’re worth sharing with everyone. I’ll have more posts in the future with some of my other “rules.”

Rule #1: If you don’t control it, don’t worry about it.

Let’s face it, worry causes a lot of problems, especially emotional problems. And I won’t lie, I was born without my worry-meter. I have rarely worried about life. That’s not to say that I have unrealistic expectations of the world, but I can easily identify when I have control of the situation or not, and if I don’t, I don’t worry.

Let me give some examples. Let’s say you are worried about being fired from a job. There isn’t much you can do about this. You can make yourself indispensable, so you should worry enough to make those changes. But even that is not enough sometimes. It could happen anyway. So after I’ve done what I can to make myself indispensable, I would stop worrying.

Another example: World news. I hate how worked up people get about world news. If you’re in one part of the world, and bad things are happening in other parts of the world, it does no good to fret. There are some things you can do, like donate your money to people/causes in need, but that doesn’t mean that you should stress yourself out with worry.

Yet another example: Changing people. People have many different opinions, and I can’t change them. I might be able to provide a solid argument for my own opinions, but that usually does nothing to sway the opinions of others who are arguing back. So I simply don’t worry about it. This is primarily why I don’t become vocal in political/social justice debates.

Believe it or not, there is actually a lot you can do in seemingly impossible situations. For example, if there’s an earthquake, you should worry about the results of the earthquake, because what happens, happens. If you die, you can die happy or worrying about dying. On the other hand, you can help with cleanup and other things after an earthquake.

I will worry about grades. I will worry about my finances. I will even worry about helping those in need, because I can do something about all these things. But I will not burden myself by worrying about things I have no control over. There are so many of them that it can be overwhelming. There are more problems in the world than we are even able to comprehend. So why worry. If we would all worry about the things we have control over, perhaps we’d see more positive changes.

Categories: Blog, Personal

2 Responses

  1. Elaine says:

    Hi, Jason! 😀 This was a great, simple post. I know that I worry about things sometimes, like when bad stuff is happening in other parts of the world. For example, I don’t like to talk or read about Ebola because it scares me. And sometimes I feel guilty if I don’t read about the latest shooting in the US or terrorist attack in the Middle East, but I don’t always really want to read about those things because they’re scary and depressing and what can I really do, anyway (besides pray, and as a religious person I believe that prayer is a valuable thing)? But, even though I know I should be aware that these things are happening, I also know that I don’t have to let any of it stress me out. The thing is, a person’s life is so full its own challenges and struggles, mediocre though they may seem compared to major world events, that it is sometimes just too hard to read and worry about the latter every time you get on the internet. I commend you for being able to take a step back from what you can’t control and keep your mind free of stressful clutter. 🙂

  2. […] while back, I wrote a post about my #1 rule: Don’t worry about what you can’t control. This is indeed my number top rule for living a peaceful and effective life. But I have more rules […]


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