Worry and Fear

Worry pretends to be necessary. It serves no purpose.

My tweet today was inspiration - as always - from Eckhart Tolle. Sound advice. I try to live without worry as I have come to realise that it is truly one of life's most useless emotions. Worrying about something has never helped me to resolve a situation - it has only ever made things worse.

Certainly there are some things that cause me concern; climate change, paying that outstanding invoice, whether or not we'll sell all that stock in my studio, etc. But as soon as it moves into worry stage, ie that incessant noise in your head that stops you from seeing things clearly, I push the thoughts aside. Only then can you come to a creative, rational solution.

It seems so simple, yet for some reason society has become obsessed with worry - to the point where worry turns to fear. Some even capitalise off of it: drug companies, Republicans, and most of all, the media. Nothing sells more than fear, terror or the latest pandemic.

Dan Gardner has done a fantastic job of dissecting the politics of fear in his book Risk. He examines the reasoning behind our minds' ability to succomb to worry and fear, and dispells some common myths with rational argument based on simple statistics. One of the most compelling being an analysis of Americans post-9/11 fear of flying, which resulted in a shift of people driving long distances rather than taking a flight. The result was over 1500 people being killed in car accidents as a direct result of not taking that flight that they would have booked.

Its just one example that makes you shake your head and wonder why we can't see through the fog of our own irrational fear.

Both Tolle and Gardner are highly recommended reads. Just think how much more creative and productive we would all be if we stopped giving away precious time to useless thought?

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