You Can’t Be in Two Places at Once
In the late 80’s, Bobby McFerrin wrote a memorable ditty called, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. It’s a nice thought, but as an adult I know that someone has to worry about the mortgage, car, family, insurance, etc. Worrying about the future causes a lot of stress. Does it do any good to worry about things that haven’t happened yet, or worse, may never happen? Then there is today. How focused are you on what needs to be done right now?
Martial arts teaches us to focus our energy and attention on the task at hand, whether it be sparring with a partner or practicing a form or kata. It’s hard to do those things well while making vacation plans and dentist appointments. If your mind wanders, you may be kicked back into the here and now. Although you are looking ahead to what the next strike or attack may be, your main focus is in the now, not next week’s tournament. That is why it is important to remember that the present will soon be the past and today’s decisions and choices will determine your future.
So many worries are out of our hands anyway. Planning ahead for every obstacle you may face means spending a lot of time worrying about things that will never happen. That energy could be used to focus on things to improve the current situation so the future problems never happen or are cushioned. Will worrying about being laid off, prevent it from happening? No. However, working hard at your current job will keep your skills up to speed, help with references or networking and may impress a client into offering you a job or job lead. Staying focused on the present with an eye toward the future will use your energy wisely.
Is it easier sparring one partner or two? For most of us concentrating on one opponent is easier. Just like in McFerrin’s song, “… in your life expect some trouble. When you worry you make it double.” When we focus too much attention on the future instead of the present, we are doubling our problems. Although it is important to have future plans, we need to spend time and energy on the present, so there will be a future. Just remember, “Don’t worry. Be happy.”
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