1 Powerful Way to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
Worry is Just Misuse of your imagination.
The great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche called it the formula for human greatness.
He coined it as Amor Fati; a Love for fate.
Amor Fati is a mindset that you take on for making the best out of anything that happens. Treating each and every moment — no matter how challenging — as something to be embraced, not avoided. To not only be okay with it but love it and be better for it. So that like oxygen to a fire, obstacles, and adversity become fuel for your potential.
In Simple words, If the event must occur, Amor fati (a love of fate) is the response. No looking backwards. Sideways. Only forward with a smile.
I lost my job. That is ok. I will do something of my own.
Car breaks down? Ok, this was meant to be.
I did not save my manuscript? Ok, I will make a better second draft.
Someone calls you a terrible name? Be glad they did it — they told you the truth about who they are.
And so on……
All of these reactions are better than anger. Better than burying our head in our hands. Better than resentment. Better than frustration or fear.
The key here is self-acceptance.
According to Shepard (1979), self-acceptance is an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself and is thought to be necessary for good mental health. Self-acceptance involves self-understanding, a realistic, albeit subjective, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Self-acceptance allows you to feel good about yourself, even with the flaws, mistakes, and failures that we all have.
And That is the secret of greatness; from Roosevelt to Edison to Steve Jobs.
The one thing that is common is that they accepted what happened in their lives with unfailing cheerfulness. And this self-acceptance ultimately became the most powerful weapon in their path to success.
And here are some ways to “Amor Fati” your life and start living.
Live Life with No Resentments.
Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning, was a renowned psychologist focused on suicide prevention. In 1938, while living in Austria during the Nazi takeover, Frankl was prevented from treating “Aryan” patients due to his Jewish heritage.
Four years later he, along with his wife and parents, was deported to a Nazi ghetto and later to Auschwitz and Dachau (two of the deadliest Nazi concentration camps).
Frankl was the only member of his family to survive the war (with the sole exception of his sister).
With his wife and parents dead at the hands of their Nazi oppressors, one might expect Frankl to be bitter or defeated. Yet this was not so.
Frankl urges us to understand, “You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.”
Past resentments can prevent us from practicing self-acceptance. Bury the past and move on.
Believe in Yourself.
Thomas Edison, at an age at which most of us would wish to retire, came home one late evening to eat dinner. A man burst into his home, interrupting him. He had dire news: there was a fire at his research facility.
At age sixty-seven, Edison arrived on the scene to see his campus ablaze.
One would imagine this is the point when Edison drops to his knees and screams out “Why me?” or some other exclamation.
However, Edison searched out his son and requested him to go and get his mother. Edison excitedly told his son, “They’ll never see a fire like this again.”
Naturally, Edison’s son thought he had lost his mind, and rightfully so. All of his experiments, things that could likely never be replicated, were burning to the ground.
“Don’t worry. It’s all right,” Edison said with calm, “We’ve just got rid of a lot of rubbish.”
In this, Edison revealed the true nature of Amor fati — Believe in yourself and choosing to love any challenge, life throws at you.
Not only was he not broken-hearted, but he was also revitalized.
So revitalized, in fact, that despite losing over $23 million (in today’s dollars, $1 million at the time), he was able to persevere and make over $200 million ($10 million, then).
Sometimes you just must first believe before you act. So believe in. You can also pick a person you find inspirational and think of them if you doubt yourself. This can help you re-align your brain to believing in yourself.
Celebrate your Strengths.
“We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths,” according to Ryan Duffy, a psychologist in Pasadena, California. Duffy helps his clients hone in on their strengths and abilities by writing them down.
If you’re having a tough time coming up with your list, name one strength each day, he said. Start with something basic like “I’m a kind person,” said Duffy. “Typically, lists evolve as the script loses its strength, and people recognize they are intelligent, and creative, and powerful, and articulate, and so on. Sometimes, we can’t see ourselves until we clear the weeds,” he said.
In a nutshell, enhance your strengths, propagate them and use them in every possible way.
Don’t Be in Denial Mode.
As the old saying goes, “If you find yourself in a hole, first, stop digging.”
But we often don’t stop digging and go into the denial mode. “This should not be happening!” You can shake your fists in anger and mope around like a surly teenager resisting the obvious. This is a wastage of energy on useless resistance which can be used constructively towards finding a solution.
For example, if you have a physical illness such as rheumatoid arthritis, not accepting yourself can make you more anxious about your body. In this context, your negative thoughts automatically increase.
But accepting doesn’t mean you don’t go to the doctor. It means you don’t waste time complaining and don’t kid yourself that you’re going jogging tomorrow. And maybe you embrace your reduced mobility by saying this is the perfect time to do some writing, reading and so on. The possibilities are endless once you apply your end to the options.
Always remember, sometimes even small frustrations in life seem like the end of the world. But if you step back and think, maybe things are not so bad after all. You just need to think beyond the denial mode.
And Lastly, Create a Support System
Distance yourself from people who bring you down, said Joyce Marter, a psychotherapist. Instead, “Surround yourself with people who accept you and believe in you,” she said.
Part of life is experiencing ups and downs. We want people who understand us and can be depended upon during tough times. We need people who will listen to us and give us honest feedback.
Research has proved that having a support system has many positive benefits, such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills, and longer and healthier life.
Studies have also shown that social support can reduce depression and anxiety. Some people do best with a large support group, while others need a small support system. Giving and receiving support from others is a basic human need.
Cultivating and maintaining a social support system will benefit you throughout each of your life’s endeavors. Support networks do more than offer a sense of community and belonging — they can also help you achieve academic and professional success.
As Misty Copeland has rightly said.
Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.
About the author-:
Ravi Rajan is a global IT program manager based out of Mumbai, India. He is also an avid blogger, Haiku poetry writer, archaeology enthusiast, and history maniac. Connect with Ravi on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.