Sunday, May 31, 2009

ninety-eight percent

Ninety-eight percent of human misery lies in anticipation.

I have no idea who originally said this, but dad used to say it all the time. And it's true. How much of our lives do we spend worrying about things that never come to pass, or that are nowhere near as terrible as we imagine they'll be?

I'm certainly guilty of this. I'm a total drama queen, creating endless horror movies in my head over things that really aren't as big a deal as I lead myself to believe. There's an element of prudence in thinking ahead, sure, but why do we make ourselves miserable about things that are beyond our control, or, when we step back from them, not nearly so awful as they seem when we allow ourselves to remain immersed in them? Wallow in them, even.

And yet I derive endless distraction from this unhealthy habit of distortion. Do I actually enjoy making myself feel rotten?

I'd like to challenge myself to spend more time sitting with what is, the good and the bad, and less time projecting myself into imagined futures where everything's falling down around my ears. Yes, that may happen, but there's an equal chance that things will turn out just fine.

We do have some power to create what we expect--like that other old chestnut: whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.

And so I expect that my life will be fucking fabulous. I will make it so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist." -Mark Twain