Just Do It

There’s a very popular school of thought that goes something like,
“Hope for the best, expect the worst”. It was an approach that I
subscribed to wholeheartedly, because I believed I was hedging my bets.
My reasoning was that I would never be disappointed, but only
pleasantly surprised. The obvious problem is that it’s an inherently
negative way of looking at things, and can often be a self-fulfilling
prophecy. Kinda like, things go wrong because I expect things to go
wrong. But even though I recognised this, I was still content to
imagine all the ways something could possibly go wrong whenever I was
looking forward to something.

What made this even odder in my case was my belief that,
whenever I imagined an event would play out a certain way, it would
invariably turn out to be quite different. If I imagined the resolution
to be good, it would be bad. And if I imagined it to be bad, then it
would still be bad, just in a different way than what I imagined. My
answer to this conundrum was to imagine all the possible ways something
could go wrong, and do my very best to not expect the good outcome, or
even think about it.

Obviously, this isn’t a realistic approach for any attempt to
attain a sustained level of happiness. But I didn’t know how else to
approach the situation. I was just so afraid of being wrong, and being
disappointed, that I would rather lower my expectations than think
something good would happen. And some time ago, I guess my subconscious
decided that I’d had enough of that.

The question that one has to ask is, if this is the case, what
does one do about it? How do you deal with it? I don’t know if I have a
general answer that will work for everyone. But I do know how I’ve
ended up handling situations like that. And my answer is to allow
myself to be disappointed once in a while, because at the end of the
day, it’s not really a big deal. Yeah, I’ll mope about it and be upset.
My friends might even have to deal with my bitching about it. But after
a while, I’ll be fine. I’ll shrug my shoulders, and move on. After all,
this is life and shit happens. Now, don’t assume that this is just me
giving a new face to the same “expecting the worst”. It’s more about
realising that shit does happen on occasion, sometimes without warning,
and when it does, you deal with it and move on. Eventually, you’ll get
better at deciding when to get excited about something, and when not
to. And even if you do get excited about something that turns out to be
a letdown, at least the anticipation was fun for a while.

On the whole, I’ve found it to be an easier way to deal with
situations. Worry about the things I can control. Don’t stress about
what I can’t. Life becomes a lot simpler then. At least, it appears to
be. And sometimes, that’s good enough.

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