Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Don’t worry, be happy is the name of an old song by Bobby McFerrin. I have it on vinyl and it’s my go-to song if i’m having a bad day because when I put it on, I can’t help but smile. Once that smile takes hold, my worries fade away and I am happy again. Why do I love this song? It’s uplifting, but more importantly it has a very important life lesson which I sometimes need to be reminded of. That lesson is that we all endure tough times but worrying about them just makes everything worse.

We worry about our finances, health, relationships, careers and everything in between. Worrying comes naturally to an overwhelming majority of people, and it’s not always bad. On occasion, worry can provide the motivation for us to take action and rectify a bad situation, or better yet, preventing it from happening at all. It can prevent procrastination and inspire us to work harder and smarter than ever. The problem, however, is that there is a fine line between worry which is motivational and transformational, and that which is destructive and ruinous.

At it’s worst, worrying can destroy your confidence, rob you of your happiness and fill your mind with doubt and negative self-talk. This, in some cases, can be the start of a slippery slope which leads to anxiety and even depression.

Worry, however, is all in the mind. It’s the fear and anticipation that something could go wrong. We fixate on a potentially negative outcome or situation , and in doing so we assign much more importance to it than we should. It gets blown out of all proportion. Most of the time, when a situation actually arises we realise that it wasn’t as bad as we anticipated and that we worried needlessly. Our confidence took a beating and we lost sleep for no good reason.We need to stop doing this to ourselves by shifting our perspective.

We actually have the power to choose whatever it is that we focus on. It takes a bit of work, but the quality of life you will enjoy afterwards is worth the effort. By focusing on things that could go wrong in the future, we deny ourselves the opportunity to be happy and enjoy the present moment. This negativity affects our mindset and, as a result, other areas of our lives suffer. Nothing good can be gained by focusing on things which you have no influence or control over.

So, it stands to reason that if you want positivity and progress in your life, you need to focus instead on the things which you can control.

  • If you currently worry about ever meeting that special someone, quit worrying and take action. Work on your physical and mental health, striving to become the best possible version of yourself. Do that and “the one” will eventually find you.
  • If you worry about your finances, audit your spending habits. Worrying about bills doesn’t help, you have to take action. If you are being careless with your money, then more money won’t solve anything. You’ll just have more money to waste. Track your spending in an app or a journal, every single penny, and regularly revisit it to identify spending habits. You will become more aware of areas where you are spending money unnecessarily, and the knowledge that you track all your spending can also help you to avoid making impulse purchases.
  • If you worry about career progression, there is so much you can do to improve your prospects. Read or complete a distance-learning course that can help you to gain knowledge and acquire new skills. Network. Undertake a project which could provide value to the organisation and also help to get you noticed by the relevant people.

If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.

~ Ernest Hemingway

Worrying is a choice. Successful people have the same concerns and fears as the rest of us mere mortals, but it’s what they do about it that sets them apart from everyone else. Rather than fixate on what could go wrong, they focus on themselves and what they can do to ensure the best chance of success. Is there knowledge which they could acquire? A skill that they could work on? Instead of worrying unnecessarily, they focus on becoming the best version of themselves. This, in turn, attracts positive outcomes and helps them to develop a positive mindset. Worry is replaced by personal and professional development. which leads to fulfillment and happiness.

As a wise man once said “Don’t worry, be happy”

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