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Last Updated on April 26, 2018

20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About (+ How to Ditch These Worries)

20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About (+ How to Ditch These Worries)

Sometimes my life feels like it’s stuck in neutral – like I’m stuck in an endless loop of introduction with no progress. It’s during these times in my life that I stop, sit down, close my eyes, and reset my brain for 10 to 15 minutes. In doing this, I drop my so-called “problems” from my mind and awaken feeling fresh and energized.

I am a nerd with a penchant for numbers and tech, so I tracked my worries as I released their grip on me.

Here are some problems I found myself worrying about far too often before I discovered how to meditate and refocus. Life is too short to worry about…

1. Bills

Death and taxes are far from the only guarantees in life. You’ll repeatedly have your heart broken; enjoy the sun, the moon, eat drink, and be merry – and you’ll have a hard time in life without paying bills.

Whether monthly, quarterly, or annually, bills are relentless. If you ignore them, they only get bigger, louder, and more destructive. The thing is: we all have bills…and letting them run your life isn’t going to improve its quality any time soon.

It’s easy to say not to worry about bills. Everyone knows it’s not a good idea to worry about them, but when you’re drowning in debt and have minimal to no income, it’s a little harder to keep wipe those pesky bills off your mind. Being told life is too short to worry about bills is one thing; having the confidence to stand tall despite insurmountable debt is an entirely different beast. I can assure you that losing your house, car, cable, gas, etc. won’t kill you.

Stop fearing your bills – you’re letting them control your life.

What to do instead?

Here’re some tips:

  • Create a budget for yourself and stick to it. Put your budget over anything else. This will help you get a better view of your bills and how they affect you.
  • Cut unimportant bills. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, cut some of your nonessential bills. Cable TV is one of the easiest bills to cut. There’s a plethora of entertainment options out there, and even if you subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, you’ll be spending less annually than a cable bill.
  • Pay back any debts to family and friends first. They’re the people who will be there for you at the bottom, not your bank and utility companies.
  • Keep your collateral loans (i.e auto loan and mortgage) current. The last thing you want to lose is your home and car. If you have to choose between the two, sacrifice your home over your car. In a worst case scenario, it’s better to be mobile.

2. Money

Money is the cause of and solution to life’s most unnecessary problems. We need bread – there’s no denying that – we just don’t need to allow cheddar to be the source of undue stress.

Always remember that currency is imaginary, and economies don’t exist in nature. Since moolah is imaginary, all of your worries about said funds are in your head. People do some strange things for paper, and I’ll never understand why. Material wealth doesn’t equate to happiness.

What to do instead?

Instead of stressing about your supply of coinage, try focusing on the things that make you happy. If you pursue a job that satisfies your desire for greenbacks, you risk ending up in a career you hate. Dinero won’t solve that problem, nor will it help you find like-minded friends.

People who pursue their dreams and passions always have more fulfilling stages than those motivated by loot.

3. The past

The beef-witted among us who don’t learn history are doomed to hear it repeated over and over by those who do. Most of humanity’s violent wars were waged because of conflicting beliefs over what happened in the past.

The past is important to learn from, but you shouldn’t let it get in your way and become a burden. Instead, face forward, and brush that dirt off your shoulders.

What to do instead?

We all faced obstacles in our past. There’s no need to run from or be ashamed of who you are or where you came from, but don’t let what happened to you distract you from your personal goals.

Learn from your hardships, and fight harder next time. The only way you can continue being harmed by something that already happened is if you let it.

4. Who’s sleeping with whom

Gossip is the worst. I don’t mind talking to my friends or partner about what’s going on in their lives, but I’m entirely uninterested in hearing about everyone’s dating and sex lives.

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Is it doing you any good to know that Joe and Donna are hooking up in the break room at work? Sure, you’ll know the counters aren’t safe to eat off, but you really should already know that. What else are you gaining – a conversation starter? You’ll end up looking like the work gossip, who nobody likes nor trusts.

What to do instead?

Instead of joining the grapes on the vine, worry about you.

While we’re on the subject, there’s really no need for everyone to know who you are hooking up with either. It’s not necessary to hide your sex life (and you should certainly be honest about it with your partner), but it doesn’t need to be in your repertoire of icebreaking conversation fodder.

Life’s just too short to worry about the sex lives of others.

5. Haters

Think about all the celebrities you don’t like or don’t care about: Kim Kardashian has no business being famous, Justin Bieber is overrated, LeBron James is no Michael Jordan. Regardless of how you feel about any of these people, they have successful careers.

Although they get their share of hate mail, successful people continue doing what they’re doing. Now apply this concept to your own life.

What to do instead?

People aren’t always going to like what you do; there’s Haterade in the water everywhere. Whether you’re a local celebrity or a virtual unknown, you’re going to step on some toes.

I’ve met people who are the absolute kindest, compassionate, most thoughtful, and likable human beings, and they STILL have had haters say and do some of the most despicable things to them. If I stopped and stressed out every time someone didn’t like my decisions, I’d never have accomplished anything in life. Don’t stress the haters.

6. Work

There will always be projects, chores, errands, and emergencies at work. Nobody has a career that’s without stressful situations. It helps to love what you do, but even if you don’t, work is a silly thing to get uptight about.

What to do instead?

If you’re not at work, there’s nothing to worry about. If you are at work, then stop crying over spilt milk, roll up your sleeves, and be productive. The less you worry about work, the quicker it goes by.

Never be ashamed of who you are or what you do to earn a living. You’re not defined by your career; you define it.

7. Aging

Getting old is a difficult and scary task – there’s no denying that. We all go through the same stress, anxiety, fear, worry, and doubt. It’s understandable to feel a little bit stressed about aging, but you have to keep in mind there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re going to age whether you like it or not.

There’s nothing you can do to stop the process, but you can embrace it and make the most of your time.

What to do instead?

Aging is a part of life. Instead of worrying about your impending geriatric state, enjoy the present you exist in right now. You’ll only be this old once, so do all the fun things you always wanted to do at that age. Stop wishing you were younger.

Don’t waste your time worrying about not being old enough yet either. Being a kid has its advantages. You get small punishments for making mistakes at school or at home, admission prices are cheaper, and bills are usually free. You can’t speed or slow time. Enjoy your life the way it is right now.

8. Death

Sooner or later in your life, you’re going to have to face the inevitability of your own death. You can’t dodge the grim reaper, and hiding is only going to hinder you from living your life to the fullest. You won’t give your all when you’re holding back.

After you face death, you’ll find it easier to face over and over throughout life. You’ll have more courage and tenacity.

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Death isn’t easy to face; religions have spawned throughout the human history in an attempt to soothe people’s fears of oblivion. If you go to sleep, you may not wake up, and even if you do wake up, no matter how safe you are, we could be nuked by another country or a meteor could fall out the sky and kill us all.

What to do instead?

Unless you’re reading this from a professional shelter, you have no chance of surviving an extinction-level event. Now face mortality, and go live your life.

9. What people think

When I was younger, I always said I didn’t care what people thought of me, but the reality is very different. In my mid to late 20s, I completely stopped caring what people thought of me. By the time 30 hit, I jumped out of an airplane and hit the ground running. I blew the whistle on the banks and started living my life as though nobody was there.

I started being me, regardless of what my friends, family, or the guy at the other end of the barrel aimed at me thought about it.

Fitting in is an advantage in certain situations, but it’s certainly not the end-all, be-all for every situation in life. There are times when you need to keep a low profile, but for the most part, unless you’re a secret agent or political leader, feel free to let loose sometimes and have fun, regardless of what people think of you.

10. Celebrities

Paparazzi follow celebrities everywhere they go, snapping pictures, videos, and sound bites to feed to the convoluted masses. They’d have no reason to take pictures if there weren’t hordes of people hungering to learn the latest celebrity gossip. Why does it matter, though? Does knowing what Mariah Carey is smoking or who Daniel Radcliffe is dating get you anywhere in life?

What to do instead?

There’s plenty more going on in the world outside the lives of celebrities. Stop worrying about their drama.

11. What other people are doing

It’s not just celebrities – some people get into everyone’s business. What can you learn about life from other people’s business?

I’m reminded of times as a kid where I would say “but ___ is going to the movies” as a way of convincing my parents to grant me permission to go. Their answer was a useful lesson: don’t worry about what other people are doing. They’re not paying your bills or putting food on your table. Their problems aren’t yours, and there’s no reason to take them on.

What to do instead?

If you’re constantly following the example of others, you will never get ahead in life. People who get ahead don’t emulate their peers. They walk their own path and inspire others to follow suit. Don’t worry about where everyone else is going or what they’re doing – focus on you.

12. Safety and comfort

It’s nice to have somewhere safe and comfortable to lay your head at night. Comfort foods and our comfort zone are important aspects of our life, and it’s difficult to feel comfortable if you’re not safe. This is why some aspect of safety and comfort is necessary.

You can’t get too comfortable in that shell though. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to break out of your comfort zone and experience life.

What to do instead?

Taking chances is important in life. If you never take chances, you’ll never stand up for yourself, and you’ll likely not have very much fun.

Instead of being meek and introverted, stop worrying about living to be 100, and start worrying about having a little bit of fun. After all, you only live once.

13. Mistakes

Don’t worry too much when you make a mistake – nobody’s perfect.

When you make a mistake (especially a string of them), it’s easy to get frustrated and feel like everything is falling apart. Stress can compound as you race toward deadlines, and the inkling to throw in the towel starts to build up inside.

It’s ok. You may need to pay some sort of retribution for your mistake, but that which doesn’t kill you only gives you an opportunity to prove who you really are.

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What to do instead?

Figure out what caused the mistake and what you can do next time to avoid it or improve the outcome in at least some minor way. Remember what Thomas Edison said about mistakes being the key to innovation; we stumbled upon some of our greatest inventions by mistake. It’s not the end of the world.

14. Winning the lottery

There’s nothing wrong with occasionally throwing a couple dollars down on the lottery. Someone has to win, and it very well may be you.

Someone else also has to get eaten by a shark, struck by lightning, and abducted by aliens, but you’re not waiting for one of these pivotal moments to occur in your life before finally taking action. Why would you wait for some imaginary (and highly unlikely) windfall before giving life your all?

What to do instead?

While it’s ok to play the lottery, don’t put all your chips into that. Don’t depend on the lottery, God, or some other unlikely external factor to come swoop you away from your life – work with what you have.

By pursuing your dreams and goals, you won’t have to worry about the lottery; you’ll feel like you already won.

15. What can go wrong

I’m not going to drive to the store today.

I may run out of gas, traffic will be busy, the store’s probably closed or crowded, they won’t have the item I’m looking for or it’ll be too expensive, I’ll forget my wallet, my car will get hit in the parking lot, someone may shoot up the store while I’m there, my car will break down, I’ll lose my key, and my house will get robbed while I’m gone…

Because of these possibilities, I’m going to sit home all day and do nothing instead.

If you don’t start something because you’re scared of all the things that may go wrong, you’re probably better off, because you can’t be successful if you don’t know how to react when faced with adversity.

No matter how well you make your plans, something is going to go wrong. The United States government is one of the most powerful entities in human history, and they’re constantly running damage control. Do you really think your plan is going to go off without a hitch if even they can’t do it?

What to do instead?

Stop letting what might go wrong stop you from doing what might go right. Start taking actions and stop procrastinating.

I know that fear is hard to conquer, so you must face it, and this guide can help you: A Step-By-Step Guide to Face Your Fear and Stop Procrastinating

16. Worrying

After a while, your worries start to pile up to the point that you begin to even worry about worrying. Once you’re stuck in this cycle, it’s very difficult to get out.

Although you’re better off not doing it, there’s nothing wrong with worrying – worrying about worrying is a good sign you need to stop and take a minute.

What to do instead?

If you ever find yourself in this position, the first thing you need to remember is to breathe. Now stop getting frustrated with you.

If life is too short to worry about death, it’s certainly too short to beat yourself up over being human and having a natural reaction.

17. The pricetag

When I was a kid, I loved Pop Tarts, but my parents were poor (which came hand-in-hand with cheapness), so we’d get the generic version, which taste like cough syrup. Sure, they saved $1 on the face value of the generics, but it put me in a position where not only did I still crave Pop Tarts, but we were stuck with generic garbage that inevitably went stale since no one ate it.

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This is a pattern that continued throughout much of my childhood.

Price isn’t everything. Worry about the quality and value of the product you’re getting (especially food and pharmaceuticals). McDonald’s dollar menu won’t cut it when you’re in the mood for a good steak.

What to do instead?

I hate to sound bourgeois, but quality is an important aspect in life.

If you want a really nice jacket, work hard, sell a few things, and save up the money to buy the one you really want instead of settling for a product you’re not happy with simply because it’s cheaper.

18. The small stuff

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Little things go wrong every day in our lives.

You woke up late, a dollar short for your lunch, got splashed by a car walking through the parking lot, tripped going up the stairs, and your zipper was down for a really important meeting…

If you consider that a bad day, you’re archiving your life the wrong way.

What to do instead?

Instead of getting frustrated by the little things, focus on all the positives.

The sunset, cloud formations, the smell of the trees and flowers around you, food, drinks, love, passion – there are entirely too many great things happening on a day to day basis to worry about the little annoyances in life.

19. Anything else outside your control

My girlfriend’s mantra when life gets too stressful is, “this too shall pass.” I mix it up between “this is only temporary.” The general idea is to stop yourself from getting annoyed about that which is outside your control.

I don’t like the President, and I’m appalled at the way whistleblowing heroes like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are treated, but there’s nothing I can do about it at the present moment.

I had a cat named Shady (aptly named so because of his tendency as a kitten to purr, nudge, and kneed, then suddenly bite you). Shady was convinced that I controlled the weather and would angrily meow at me whenever it rained. That must be what God feels like listening to everyone’s prayers. I can’t stop the rain – it’s autonomous. Instead, I make the day with hot cocoa, s’mores, and espresso liqueur.

What to do instead?

The easiest way to reduce stress is to stop thinking about all the dumb stuff you can’t control so you can focus on whatever task is at hand – whether it’s good or bad, focusing on your present is the easiest way to either resolve or enjoy what’s happening to you.

20. Being perfect

At the end of the day, you need to accept yourself for your own faults. Life’s too short to dwell on anything for too long unless it makes you feel happy and fulfilled.

Sure, you’ll make mistakes along the way, but that’s part of the fun.

What to do instead?

Stop wasting your time trying to be faultless. Test your own boundaries, and you’ll begin to enjoy life so much more.

For example, I can’t stand when I don’t finish something up to my personal standards. I have an almost Sheldon Cooper-level impulse to finish things, but to help suppress that worry, every so often, I don’t finish…

If you think you’re prone to having a perfectionist mindset, this article may help you: How Perfectionism Secretly Screws You Up (And How to Change Your Perfectionist Mindset)

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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