All authors know that stress and melodrama stifle creativity. Read on if you want to increase your creative output and live a happier life.
Once upon a time, a sage shared with me pearls of great wisdom. The sage, as you might wonder, was my mother. The pearl of wisdom is a simple phrase that puts every event in your life into perspective in one neat question. Too often, we find ourselves caught up in melodrama and, too often, we exhaust ourselves, stressing over things that are really not all that relevant in the grand scheme of things. In the heat of the moment, we may feel that they are, but, if we take a good, long look, we’d be forced to admit that the event just isn’t really worth the emotional taxation we place upon ourselves and our sense of well being. Another word my sage found abhorrent: stressing. It has become the catch phrase of the modern age.
I will now share with you this little pearl of wisdom and I sincerely hope that you will take it to heart and apply it to every event in your life. When you feel an extreme emotional reaction to a situation, ask yourself this simple question. Will this really matter in five years’ time? Here it is, in a nutshell. Will it? Will you care, five years from now, that someone cut in line in front of you at the grocery store? Will you even remember it?
Why sweat the small stuff? We become so caught up in the mundane that we forget to appreciate the divine. Our mere existence is a miracle. When we should cherish time spent with our loved ones, making memories that will last a lifetime, do we not too often forget what is really important in the face of often self-made drama and trivia? Would you not rather lead a life immersed in joy? To my mind, it’s all about focus. Focus your attention on the good things in your life and let the petty annoyances and drudgery pass you by effortlessly. If you find that you dislike certain aspects of your life, change them! You hold that power. You are an amazing being with the freedom and power to change your experience on this planet. Like the Nike slogan states, just do it!
If you dislike an aspect of your life, change it and do something that you love instead. Don’t use excuses to keep yourself in an unhappy environment, and, if necessary, take baby steps to make those changes, but make them. You are the only one who can live your life and, if you are unhappy, you are the only one who can change it. Stop wasting your energy on petty drama.
At the end of your life, when you look back, what is really going to matter to you? This is a hard question, but, when you ask it of yourself, your answer is not going to be the office politics debacle of 2005, or that nameless so-and-so who cut you off on the highway in 1998… this, I can promise you. The things that matter are the relationships you forge and the achievements that brought you joy. Whether it’s a simple thing like making a beautiful home for your family or achieving your dream of being the CEO of a multinational corporation, what’s important is that the achievement brought you joy and a sense of satisfaction.
Our lives are fleeting and, in most cases, we do not know which moment will be our last. We are born to die, but how we live is what really matters. Other words of wisdom that I can share are to never let the sun set on an argument and to always speak from your heart. Sadly, my mother passed away recently and, though I no longer have the benefit of her sage advice, her most important lessons have been ingrained upon my psyche and I try to walk to the beat of my own drum. If everyone lived by the credo of ‘will this matter in five years’ time’, the world, I can guarantee you, would be a better place.
Bear in mind that your feelings and actions directly affect those you come into contact with. The so-called idiot who cut you off at the intersection in his fancy car and then flipped you off as he drove by has left you with a negative impression. You arrive at work and relate your experience to a work colleague, infecting them with your negative response to a complete stranger’s actions. You stomp up and down in the office in a bad mood because of it and allow it to affect your reactions to other events in the workplace. Sound familiar? Due to the actions of a complete stranger who you allowed to upset your equilibrium, you created an emotional vortex of negative energy, with which you then infected your workplace. Admit it, we’ve all done it to some degree. During your tea break, you’ll even possibly email or phone a friend to complain and tell them how irritated and enraged you are because of the man at the intersection who cut you off and almost caused an accident. Rage, rage, rant, rant… not realising that you are now infecting them with your negativity, and, worst of all… will this really matter in five years’ time?
Take responsibility and learn to prioritise your emotional reactions to the mundane. True, we’re only human and occasionally we’ll slip up and forget, but, with practice, we can make a habit out of not sweating the small stuff. You only get the one life (that you can remember), so live it well and know that every person you come into contact with is changed by you – what impression are you making? So next time someone offends you, remember my mother’s pearls of wisdom and, in all likelihood, you’ll laugh it off and go on to enjoy the rest of your day. This is my wish for you.
Post written by Aneza Lee
Born in the shadow of beautiful Table Mountain, Aneza Lee’s passion for writing led her to become not only a published fantasy author, but an editor too. As a child she believed each glittering dewdrop was a fairy diamond, and the stars were divine guardians who guided her along her path.
She has a great love for the written word and believes there is much to learn, and to teach, through this medium about human nature and the world we share. There is a magic in the air of the wild land called Africa where she was born and she tries to suffuse her writing with it.
She lives in a leafy suburb of Brackenfell in the beautiful Cape of Good Hope and she is currently working on the second novel in the Harpy Chronicles, The Namari Book II, before its final edit and publication. Her poem, Dancing with Gypsies, was published in the Forever Spoken Collection by the International Library of Poetry and samples of her poetry are available on Writer’s Cafe (http://www.writerscafe.org/SylvanHuntress).
Aside from writing fantasy and poetry, some of her interests and hobbies include knitting, counted cross stitch, gardening, and all things gothic. She shares her life with her fiancée, her loving family and an assortment of furry creatures.