We’re just going to jump right in today! Here is the happiness tidbit: apply the worst case scenario perspective to the fears you experience. Yesterday we talked about making a list of your fears and using the no-regrets philosophy. Today we’ll take it one step further and talk about worst-case-scenario. It’s asking yourself, “what’s the absolute worst thing that could happen?” or “Will the world end if this doesn’t turn out the way I expect?”.
Chris Guillebeau is the author I’m summarizing here and he tells a story of a fairly major mistake he made. He is what he calls a “travel hacker” and has a goal of visiting every country in the world by the time he’s 35 next year. He has 40 countries left to visit! Last year he was in Poland, on his way to Asia and called to confirm his flight home from Japan. After a series of events, he discovered he had made a mistake and did not, in fact, have a ticket from Japan back home to Portland! At first, he panicked. Then he asked himself, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”. In this instance, he would be stuck in Japan and need to buy a one-way ticket home. He says, ” It’s not fun to buy a one-way ticket from Japan on less than a week’s notice, but in the long arc of life, it’s probably not that big of a deal. That’s pretty much what happened. I felt dumb for making the big mistake, and I didn’t enjoy paying the credit card bill for the extra ticket– but the world didn’t end.”
So what about you? Are you creating “the world will end!” drama from minor concerns? It really does help to think through the actual worst thing that could happen and then deprive that fear of its hold on you. The emotion may still be there, but it’s power will be lessened. Try it– I think you’ll like it!