Finding Balance | Ignorance vs Worry | Thursday Thought

  • Posted October 24, 2013

Finding balance is the key in many aspects of life. One of the most crucial areas, if not THE most crucial, is finding balance between avoiding ignorance and worry. It’s literally a matter of life and death.

The idea behind this post is directed towards my mother. Over the last several months she has been stressing out and worrying over her future and financial sustainability. She has been dwelling on past mistakes and really struggling to move on.

“Why did I do this?” “How could I waste that?” “What was I thinking?”… Do these questions sound familiar?

While it’s important to learn from the past, it’s equally important to leave the past. Finding balance between avoiding ignorance and also avoiding worry will be paramount. This writing is not just for my mom though, it can be applied to your mother as well….and even to your siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and YOU. Everybody has their problems and some are more dysfunctional than others….so what?! Get over it!

Whether we are looking at Pride vs Humiliation….Cocky vs Timid….Hyper vs Depressed….or in this case, Ignorance vs Worry. Finding balance IS the key.

Finding balance to avoid Ignorance

I’m sure we all have heard the saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” Well, that statement is true, ignorance IS bliss. However, that’s not the end of the phrase. The rest of it concludes “until it shreds you like a rip saw.” OK, so maybe I took a little liberty with the phrase, but the point remains.

You absolutely need to be aware of history and the lessons learned from it. The failure in finding balance and succumbing to ignorance can be death.

  • The Jews caught of guard by the Nuremburg laws and subsequent imprisonment, or worse.
  • The  in Russia who lost their land, then exiled or worse.
  • The American oblivious to the foundation of their nation’s currency.

Yeah, that last one is a bit forward thinking, but in all of these cases, the writing was on the wall. Either the people were too consumed to take the time to read it, or they just didn’t think it would get THAT bad. Ignorance got the best of them. Ignorance can KILL you.

Finding Balance to avoid Worry

While reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, there was the story of one who was falsely imprisoned for a time. They were eventually released, but during the abbreviated imprisonment, their mother had died of worry. Do not take that lightly.

Worry can not only outright kill you, but it can age you, add lines to your face, tax your heart, make you sick, eat at your mind, and on and on. If you happen to be healthy right now, and you are prone to worry, you are pretty much begging to give up what health you have.

And For What Reason? What are you hoping to accomplish with all of this worrying? Will worry in of itself actually change an outcome?

Worry will only prevent you from taking the proper action to address the situation. You may end up suffering from a case of ‘analysis paralysis.’ You’ll just sit there and ‘worry’ about possible outcomes instead of focusing on the necessary critical thinking of risk vs reward. Or, you’ll be frazzled and make poor decisions in a hasty effort to end your unfounded worry.

Frame of Mind

First, a few questions for you (my mom) to help put things in perspective.

  • Do you have your health?
  • Do you have your family?
  • Do you have a roof over your head at night?
  • Do you generally have food available to eat?

Though the answer to these questions may be a “Yes, BUT..” Stop right there! This isn’t scientific, but just saying “yes” puts you in a better situation than most of the world’s population. Worry will only help you to change your answer to a “no.”. Fact is, even if you DID have to answer “no” to one of these questions, you would just be joining everybody else who is already finding a way to make it in the face of struggle.

Be grateful and cherish everything you have while you have it. Whether it’s in your control or not, any one of these things can be lost in a second. A car wreck, fire, job loss, flood, sudden death, currency collapse, war, etc. These are not things to worry about, they are merely facts of life.

If it happens, you pick up the pieces, take any lessons to be learned, and move on. That simple….sometimes hard, but simple. Humans are very resilient if you realize our capacity.

War of Questions

There are questions we run through our minds that can actually frame/form our solutions/answers? Can we frame questions in a more beneficial way? Can we even manipulate them from a ‘victim’ question into a ‘grateful’ statement.

“How could I waste all of that money?!” can be “What lesson can I learn from that experience?”
“What was my son thinking?” realizing other’s plight “Thank God I have a son.”
“What am I gonna do when…” can be “How can I best prepare for…”

Accentuate the Positive

Going even further in finding balance…. When things don’t work out, people may ask “What did I do wrong?” Fair question, right? Well another question should be “What did I do correctly?”

By identifying that which does work, you will have the opportunity to build upon it and perfect it. Maybe in your failing business, you did a remarkable job of detailing your losses. Well, the failing business could launch a carreer in accounting. Or maybe you tried 5 different strategies for trading the stock market, and lost money 80% of the time. Which strategy did you use to profit 20% of the time? Can you focus on that one and master the strategy?

A few quotes to think about while finding balance in this battlefield of your mind. “Where the mind goes, the energy flows.” and “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” The best way to guarantee a poor outcome, is to focus and obsess on a poor outcome. The best way to find a positive outcome, is to focus and obsess on a positive outcome. This isn’t some new age, fluffy jargon…. it’s true.

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. -Phillippians 4:6

Final Message in Finding Balance

There you go mom (and moms across the world). Finding balance between avoiding ignorance and worry is a life and death matter. Certainly be aware of the threats around you and your family, but don’t be consumed by the mere threat. Even check out these alternative news sources to help you better prepare. Crunch your numbers, take your action, seek knowledge, etc. But DO NOT worry about things of the future. Worry WILL kill you if you let it. The best you can do is the best you can do. So do your best, and give God the rest.