Richard Wilkins taught me this one.
Do you ever worry about the future before it happens? If you are a human being living on the planet earth then there’s a 99% chance that you will answer ‘yes’ to that question.
The second question is how often do you enjoy the future before it happens?
When people hear that question they say “don’t be so stupid, you can’t enjoy your future before it happens”.
They are both exactly the same techniques. They involve using your imagination to picture what some situation will look like in the future.
How ever many different negative scenarios you can imagine about a future even, you can imagine as many positives. It’s a case of being out of practice.
Pessimism is just a bad habit, and optimism is a good habit that can be learned.
There’s a quote by Mark Twain that says:
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened”.
So we lead up to a particular event. We imagine a whole bunch of negative outcomes that may occur and then when the event finally arrives, everything is fine, there was nothing to worry about.
You’ve done a great job there of making yourself miserable for the three weeks leading up to the event and the reality of it was no where near as bad. That’s a great use of three weeks.
Say we take the same situation and the three weeks leading up to it we enjoy it before it happens. The day arrives and it’s not as good as we imagined. Too late, we have already had the enjoyment out of it. Three weeks of enjoyment vs. one day of disappointment.
In both instances the actual situation we had to deal with was the same. The difference was in how we spent the time leading up to it.
Then people say that they worry so they are prepared. They are sort of mentally rehearsing the situation so they’ll know what to do if things go wrong.
I don’t buy it.
The probability of you guessing right what will go wrong and how it will go wrong is almost zero. There’s an infinite number of variables to consider. Plus, the fact that you have wound yourself up for the three weeks prior to the event means you’re energy levels are likely to be around 3 out of 10.
How well equipped is a person to deal with a situation when they are only 3 out of 10 on energy?
How well equipped is a person who is 8 out of 10? Or 10 out of 10?
Worrying about the future before it happens is a big source of distress, and is one of the reasons why I started speaking.
The usefulness of enjoying the future before it happens has been instrumental in my success as a speaker and has allowed me to make a difference to more people as a result.