I’m Still Thinking
By Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist
Regardless of weekly content, this column is designed to help others expand their way of thinking and promote creativity, empathy, and thought in general.
The War Within
Some of our biggest battles we wage never come to fruition. Some of our greatest fears are never known by others. If you’re like me, you worry constantly about what might happen. Even worse, if you have an imagination like mine, you can live out the full situation in your mind, and predict the worse situation possible.
Your mind can eat at you, and feed off your insecurities. It may seem that you are realizing your fears, and that you feel like everything you worked so hard to hold close is slipping away. The world for an individual can just come crashing down inside their head, while the world itself takes no notice.
One key to realizing how this works is remembering that perception is everything. You perceive the world in your head unlike anyone else. You see situations and outcomes based off experience and intelligence. But only you have your life experience. We all see the world and value things with the value we assign to them.
Objects that we care for implicitly that have no or rather insignificant monetary value, we assign “sentimental value” to. While it may not mean much to anyone else, we hold it with significant value personally. Some people are very sentimental, while others are just pack rats. But we can worry about losing “things” including actual physical things, or people, jobs, opportunities, and the like.
I worry a lot. That is actually probably an understatement. I worry if I am doing the best I can at everything, I worry about how good of a father I will be to my children when I get more custody, I worry about everything. I worry if my writing helps people. I worry every time I get on my motorcycle if everyone is paying attention on the road (I think that is a valid worry though). I see situations that will happen in my head that will never happen in real life. I worry for five years about something I said that a person forgot about five minutes after I said it. I know I also care too much about what people think.
It seems like I constantly psych myself out of my own life. I truly am my own worst enemy, because currently nobody can put me in worse conditions than myself. And while the whole purpose for this column is to help individuals think differently, every now and then, that even applies to myself.
But here is the main point I am trying to remember: Life isn’t meant to be lived in the confines of your head. Life is meant to be shared with friends and family. Life is meant to be experienced, not worried about. Do bad things happen? Yes. Will something you worry about eventually happen at least once? Absolutely, it will. But not every single thing you worry about will come around. All you are doing is increasing stress, and taking brain power away from something productive.
When you worry about something, or stress, be sure to try to focus on something else. The world can turn around so quickly and surprise us with things that we never thought possible. As one of my favorite song lyrics says: “And in the same way that everything good in life can be taken away, so can all this pain.” So when you start playing out terrible scenarios in your mind, remember: you add no positivity by stressing about it. The best way to help is to focus and do what you can to prevent the outcome you imagined. Because after all, up until that point, it’s all in your head.
Kevin Sheehan has finally graduated college. It is one less thing for him to worry about.
Let Kevin know what you are thinking. firstname.lastname@example.org