As human beings, we are hard-wired to worry and stress about this, that and the other thing. At any time that we face a roadblock, the first impulse is to worry and stress about how the obstacle in front of us is crippling our movements.
Challenges are and forever will be part of the life we live. The question then becomes : how can you approach challenges better so that your hair doesn’t turn grey due to all the stresses and worries you carry with you?
There are many potential responses to this, but the one that sticks better is the 5 year gauge. What happens with this way of thinking is that if you look at the seemingly insurmountable challenge/obstacle that you are facing now, ask yourself : will it matter in 5 years? If the answer is NO, then you can stop worrying and overworking your mind in a tail-spin frenzy.
If it won’t matter in 5 years, then why are you stressing about it like it will make an impact in your overall quality of life? Granted, there are two types of stress : good stress – also called eustress, and then bad stress – the kind that gets your mind spinning like a rollercoaster ride in a theme park. Choose to be stressed in a good way. Good stress leads to productive endeavours and motivates you to work even harder. Bad stress and constant worry only bogs you down and gets all the negative energy at the fore.
When you worry constantly, you don’t give yourself a chance to find solutions to your challenges. Ask yourself : will it matter in 5 years?
Chances are, it won’t. Here is an interesting analogy about how our minds work. We look at the dinosaur of a problem in front of us and think there is no way of getting out of it. We become short-sighted and not see the bigger picture. One cannot be blamed though. We are hard-wired to inflate our problems more than what they are.
A balloon fulfils its function when there is air in it and not when it’s deflated. Think of your problems as the balloon. Here you are stressing like the world will end tomorrow. Your problem is the balloon. You think your problem is out of your reach where a solution is concerned.
What if you changed the way you perceive your challenges and rewire how you approach them? Now, think of the same inflated balloon. When you change the way you think of problems and have a philosophy of always finding solutions, the balloon will deflate and you will realise that your problems are not as life-threatening as you had perceived them to be.
Solutions bring a peace of mind. You need a peace of mind to solve problems.
Ask yourself whether this seemingly huge problem will matter in 5 years. If it won’t matter, then why give it the time of day to stress the living daylights out of you? I know, I know, we can’t just COMPLETELY eliminate worry from our lives. I get it. We are wired to stress. But have you ever thought about how simpler your life would be if you didn’t have to constantly worry?
The 5 year gauge gives you the power to take back the control in your life. Reigning yourself in and reclaiming your sanity is imperative. You want to deal with yourself at your sanest and at your most rational. If it won’t matter in 5 years then you shouldn’t worry about it.
Come to think of it, we are evolutionary beings. What may seem to matter now will be laughable in 5 years. You will wonder 5 years later why you stressed so much about either appearing a certain way or pleasing others or just about problems in your life.
Every 5 years, you should look back in retrospect and see how your life has changed and think about those seemingly humongous problems you had 5 years back. The realisation? That it DIDN’T matter!
Stop being a worrier, dear human.Instead, gear your approach towards finding solutions.
There are many benefits for this. The first one is that you are actively dealing with the problem at hand and finding ways to eliminate it or work around it. That’s you being proactive instead of reactive about your life. Yes, about your life! This is you taking charge and not blaming external factors for issues that you could solve yourself.
When your problems bog you down and you don’t see an end in sight, think of the 5 year gauge : will it matter in 5 years?
If the answer to that is NO, then you can remove the worry lines from your face, take a deep breath and look for solutions.
Use the 5 year rule and you will simplify your life tremendously!