December 14. “The bridges you cross before you come to them are over rivers that aren’t there.” (Gene Brown)
I have been known to worry in life. Some who know me will see that as an understatement. I have always been the person who could look at the road ahead and ask “what if?” I’ve tried to put a positive spin on it at times and play it off as doing prudent risk management. As a project manager, Risk Management is a key discipline to anticipating future problems, and is essential to the success of any project of sufficient size. But there is a difference between anticipating that there will be rivers, and trying to cross them before you are at the edge of the water.
Worry can be a debilitating activity. When I am worried, I do just what this quote is suggesting. In my mind I try to cross imaginary rivers. Some are so wide and deep in my mind that they cannot be forded with my abilities. The mental and emotional struggle to get across them is so great that it slows my real-life ability to get things done. Frequently most often, when the actual river I was worried about is reached, it is not a mighty force, with rapids and roiling water. No, it is usually just a stream like you would find in a peaceful set of woods.
In life there has to be a healthy balance between anticipating what may happen so that I have the right tools available to deal with them, and obsessing about future difficulties. It is almost as foolhardy to go forward without any care for what may happen in the future as it is to obsess over the details of the crossings of imagined rivers.
Today my reflection is on the balance I need in life between healthy anticipation and preparation for the future, and having my life grind to a halt because I am worried. I really hope I don’t worry too much about this reflection. J