Do you ever worry about things you don’t control?
If you do, join the club. It happens to all of us.
But worrying is a waste of time and energy. I’ll show you a little exercise from my book Win Your Inner Battles that helps you to stop worrying.
Imagine the following situation: You make a mistake at work that upsets a client.
Maybe you send someone a wrong email. Maybe you forget to solve a problem. It doesn’t matter what it is. Imagine that something goes seriously wrong at work.
What do you do when you find out? Do you stress out? Feel uncomfortable? Blame yourself? Blame others? Think it’s the end of your career?
When things go wrong, we become our own worst enemy because we focus on things we don’t control.
It’s one thing to read about these things. It’s another thing to actually put it in practice. Because when shit hits the fan it’s natural to panic.
Instead of thinking, take a step back, and focus on what lies within your control.
What do you control? Essentially, we only control our own actions and mindset.
We determine our:
That’s about it. Anything else, we have no control over. So it makes no sense to worry about things that are not on that list.
That’s a Stoic philosophy exercise. Something that exists for centuries.
And the best thing is that you can immediately apply this to your life. Next time you catch yourself worrying about a situation, focus on the things you control.
What counts is that we do the right thing because that is all we can do. We don’t control outcomes. Do you see?
- Made a mistake? Correct it.
- Something goes wrong? Find a solution.
Also, never be surprised when bad things happen. But rather expect them to happen. In that way, you will never be caught off guard.
Similarly, when you’re stuck with bad luck, don’t complain and say stuff like, “why me!?”
Instead, accept it, and then focus your energy on finding a solution. Always keep a positive mindset.
Why this exercise improves productivity.
I’m often asked, “what does philosophy have to do with productivity?”
Well, if you want to be productive, the most important thing is consistency.
Productivity is not about eureka moments, your big break, pulling off all-nighters, or drinking Red Bull all day.
If you want to achieve things in your life, it’s about aiming for daily progress.
You want to exercise, read, work, learn, study, every single day.
Inconsistency is the enemy of results.
And that’s why I practice Stoic and Pragmatism philosophy to improve my mental toughness. It’s also a big part of my system, Procrastinate Zero.
I don’t want ups and downs because that hurts productivity.
Instead, I want to progress by 0.1% every day of the year. And that’s a very realistic goal.
Try it and maybe it will change your life too.