I haven’t written in quite a while because I have been busy with a tremendous opportunity to take part in a software bootcamp being offered by TEKsystems. It is for 13 weeks and while it has been quite challenging, it has also been an amazing experience. I’ve grown in so many ways and have met so many wonderful people. I felt compelled to write a short blog post today because I think between the demands of the bootcamp in addition to the challenging times that we are living in, it is really easy to get caught up in an unhealthy cycle of worrying about things that have not yet occurred. For those attending the bootcamp, our goal is to receive an offer of employment. As humans, we have a tendency to envision scenarios that might happen before they ever come to pass. The temptation in my case would be, what if I’m not offered a job? This can create a lot of unnecessary anxiety and drain me of the energy I could be directing towards more productive pursuits.
We need to guard against excessively worrying about things before they happen. I chose this picture to accompany my blog post because when I look at the contrast between the dark and heavy background and the woman dancing, it seems to me that she is surrounded with the burdens and stresses of life, yet she still manages to choose joy. I want to be like her!
Jesus tells us in the Bible in Matthew 6:27, “and which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” To elaborate on that, not only can we not add any hours, but by worrying we waste a lot of the precious hours we’ve been given. I want to encourage everybody to not give in to the temptation of worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet, but rather direct your thoughts and energies to the present moment and what can you do to make it the best moment possible.
I have also learned in my life that if I don’t get the job, there will be something else. I don’t want to entertain that thought because I truly do hope to go to work for TEKsystems, but it is also good to know that if it doesn’t work out, something else will. The best thing that ever happened to me was when I was laid off from Dallas Semiconductor. You certainly could not have told me that at the time, but that opened up a career path for me at Optek Technology where I worked for twelve exceedingly happy years. I started as an engineering technician, moving up to test engineer, and eventually moved into the position of test engineering manager. The culture at Dallas Semiconductor was quite different and I would not have been able to progress the way I did at Optek.
In a very personal example, my son is in Washington state. We have never been separated for more than one week. Due to the current circumstances, he has been there since January 1st and we have been unable to visit. I could be thinking of different scenarios that would caused my anxiety to skyrocket concerning my son’s welfare, but rather than do that, I am choosing to believe in the best rather than the worst. If something happens then I will certainly respond to it, but I’m not going to worry about something that has not happened yet. I can look back on my life and say that 95% of the things I worried about never even came to pass and the 5% that did, I was able to get through it when it did happen.
By spending time worrying, you are squandering some wonderful opportunities to accomplish good things and enjoy the process. It’s not easy, but try to develop a mindset that shuts down any thought processes that tend towards negativity and unwanted scenarios that generate worry when nothing has happened yet. Instead, turn your thoughts to living your best possible moment in the moment you are in, and by doing that you will be able to live with joy rather than anxiety. Choose joy!