In my opinion, the right amount of worry is determined by a cost-benefit offset (whether the worry is made worth it by a probable outcome) in regards to a desired result.  Because in the objective sense, worry is useless; we’ll all pass away, meaning the only relevant question is:  “How do I maximize fulfillment in the time I have left?”

33 thoughts on “Musings

  1. I was just thinking about this today: my anxiety is like walking on a tightrope, where on one side it’s so generalized that it freezes me into existential inaction, and on the other it’s non-existent and I am content to sit and eat cookies/binge-drink/binge-watch… Be completely unproductive.
    The narrow happy medium is anxiety about a specific actionable thing, which somehow generates motivation. It’s a stressful way to live, but better than being unmotivated all the time, I guess.

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  2. So very true, good sir. But it’s so difficult to cast away worry. The rationalization engine has to have much horsepower, me thinks. It worries me that I might not be able to stop worrying?

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    • Ha! Well put. But the ultimate rationalization, I would argue, is that all worry and rationalization will be rendered moot by our temporary nature, so through trial, error, and examination of past instances, we should try for a rough deduction of what amount of worry will be productive, and aim for that. (the tricky thing is that I imagine it would be a constantly moving standard.)

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  3. Reminds me somewhat of this famous Talmudic quote:

    Rabbi Eliezer said: “Repent one day before your death.” So his disciples asked him: “Does a person know which day he will die?” Rabbi Eliezer responded: “Certainly, then, a person should repent today, for perhaps tomorrow he will die—so that all his days he is repenting.” (Talmud, Shabbat 153a)

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    • Maybe it isn’t repentance, but when I finally just admitted and forgave myself for my top 5 “darkest secrets,” my creativity kicked in. My theory is that they were taking up “processing power.” Just to be sure, I made my friend sit there and listen while I told him what they were. I suspect you don’t need to confess, necessarily, because I felt nothing and derived no benefit from confessing (I just had to make sure); I only felt something and got benefit from it when I originally admitted them to myself. Those secrets will die just like me, so why keep them alive all the way up until my death? Long story short, I agree with the Rabbi.

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  4. I read somewhere long ago, or I heard it, and it kind of makes sense. There was a study about patients going into surgery. Some worried a lot, some didn’t, and some did for an average of twenty minutes. It showed afterwards, that those who didn’t worry were caught off guard and unprepared. Those who worried a lot were tired and stressed from the get-go. The third group was somewhat prepared and ready to face the challenge, while not exhausting themselves in the process. So, in some situations, worry could be useful in reducing the recovery time, thus freeing one sooner to enjoy life.

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  5. I’m constantly trying to straddle the line of “getting things done” vs “hurrying through them to get them done.” As I have gotten older, I realize time has become more valuable. It don’t throw it away as I used to, but also you need to relax and really feel life as it flows at times. Easier said than done because it’s sort of a remaining calm inside when chaos is all around you. Picking what thoughts and feelings dominate you is an interesting phenomenon. Thanks for the reminder.

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  6. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matt 6:34 Good advice if we can take it. Of the triumvirate of worry, effective action and acceptance of the inevitable, worry is the one to avoid if we can.

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    • Logic is definitely invaluable here; if you can make a sound, watertight case as to why you did everything you can do with what you have, then the next logical conclusion would be to not worry, because it can only be detrimental. There is literally nothing left to worry about.

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