Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ignore the Noise


We are constantly bombarded with information that causes us worry, anxiety, and stress. It can be hard to decide what to do. Here's a simple tip. Everything you see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or think can be placed into one of four categories.

1. Things that are not important and you have no control over them.
2. Things that are not important and you have control over them.
3. Things that are important and you have no control over them.
4. Things that are important and you have control over them.

I bet you just skimmed over those categories. It is important that you understand them. Go back and read them again.

Categories 1 and 2 are not important. Ignore them and don't worry. Don't waste any time on them.

Category 3 is important, but you can't do anything. It will look good or it won't. It will sound good or it won't. It will feel good or it won't. It will taste good or it won't. It will smell good or it won't. Your thoughts will be pleasant or they won't. Ignore them all. You can't do anything so don't worry.

Category 4 is important. That deserves your attention. Everything else is a waste of time.

Some people cannot tell the difference between important and not important. That causes endless stress because they react to everything that happens. Here is a simple decision path to help you decide what is important or not important:

1. Will anyone be hurt if you ignore it? If yes, it is important. Do something about it. If no, go to step 2.
2. Will anyone care about the topic in a week? If yes, it may be important. Think carefully about before you do anything. If no, go to step 3.
3. It is not important. Go find something important to work on. Practice your tai chi.

At times, the noise from categories 1, 2, and 3 can get overwhelming. It can be hard to ignore, but you can do it. Just keep it simple and ignore the noise.

© 2013 Eric Borreson

NOTE: I realize that this is oversimplified. It's more about the thought process than the details.