We all struggle with different challenges throughout our lives. Those challenges change over time and vary between people. A large part of who I am comes from the challenges I've faced and the manner in which I've faced those challenges.
I've worried about things as long as I can remember. Some of this worrying is probably written into my DNA but the largest factor seems to be the unhealthy, dysfunctional family environment I grew up in. I've been told I worry too much and, sometimes, I agree. At the same time, worrying has kept me prepared for some pretty ridiculous situations.
The question now is how do I value the present moment and enjoy things as they are?
Daneil Kahneman offers a great lens to look at this problem. He says we have two systems within ourselves
- System 1: Fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, subconscious
- System 2: Slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious
I see a theme in life. Sometimes we give up too early. For those who persist, progress is their reward. Success, to me, is about continual improvement.
By identifying, and acknowledging your short comings, you can work on them. This first hurdle is where most of us get stuck. One of our greatest human strengths is our adaptability, but this strength also becomes a weakness because we can sweep problems under the rug rather than confronting them. But who am I to say what is right? There are people who live on pennies a day but they are happier than the average american... as to say 'Who am I to say they need to 'improve' their lives. I'd have to know the meaning of life to know what 'improvement' means.
For my personal development, I've found to-do lists are a great way to work around the limits of the human brain. Our world is increasingly complex and the volume and complexity of our problems has exceeded our individual ability to reliably address these problems. A to-do list offloads the stress of forgetting. Check out Check List Manifesto.