I started reading the book, “Show your work”, and it talks about reading obituaries in the morning to get some perspective on life. People worry way too much about the little things that really don’t matter. The idea is that reflecting on how other people lived and died may put things into perspective. Another way to get that perspective is to go through your own traumatic or near-death experience.
I was at a conference and this one girl pointed out how she was held up at gunpoint once and gained a new outlook on life. After being held up at gunpoint, am I really worried about what my Mom said to me that one time? I’m part of that club of people who almost died. Well, maybe I didn’t almost die. But I was gradually becoming paralyzed and I did have to learn how to walk again so I’ll count it. It’s in the general ballpark of “traumatic experiences that change the way you perceive every day from that day on so that every day is a gift and the small stuff doesn’t matter”.
Most stuff just doesn’t matter. People worry about bad interactions with their boss, relative, or friend. What if my boss thinks poorly of me? Get a new job. What if my friends shun me? Screw it; get some new friends with a pool. What about that job or promotion you didn’t get? Try again or change it up. What about that failure learning an instrument or new language? Try again or move on.
None of that stuff should phase you. In the scope of important things and the shortness of life, it doesn’t matter. You can recover. But if you don’t have time within this lifetime, then did it even matter?
Is it possible to cultivate this attitude without almost dying? Can I bottle up some of this juice and sell it? I don’t know, but try this. Next time you are concerned about some issue in your life that seems too big to clear from your mind, just ask yourself this:
If I died next week, would this matter? Next month? If not, then it probably doesn’t matter that much. And if you’re not dead next week, you can probably come up with a plan to grind it out and be better. So let’s GO!