Have you ever realised how, when you are scared that you’ll screw something up, you inevitably end screwing it up? And this, despite the fact that you would have gone all out and tried in every way to NOT screw it up.
It’s like Murphy’s Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."
I suppose it’s because you become overtly cautious about the whole thing. So much so that you start fussing over it, mulling it over in your head again and again and again, till it starts to ferment.
It’s always on your mind. No matter what you do, this “thing” keeps popping up at every given moment. And because it’s been on your mind for so long, it begins to ferment.
That’s when it begins to stink. And that’s when, according to me, the problem begins.
Let me illustrate with an example.
The year was 1996. The youth at my then church were planning on how to deck the church up for Christmas. All of us were bubbling with ideas – hang a chandelier from there, put up flowers here etc. etc.
One guy had a question. Was the speaker an interesting one, he wanted to know.
What? What an irrelevant question to ask!
But he had a point. Which was – If the speaker was an interesting one, there was no need to worry much about the decorations. The people would be too busy listening to him to even bother about what the church looked like.
But if he was boring, that’s when all the trouble would begin. Every one would get bored and start looking around, straining the eyes for defects in the decorations, looking for faults etc.
Which actually made perfect sense.
When something keeps coming back to you again and again, it becomes boring. I mean, not exactly boring. But very close to boring. In a weird kind of way.
When the initial “ooh I am excited about this whole thing so I think about it” slowly moves towards “I need to think about this thing because I am kinda used to it now”, that is when the whole, well, weirdly boring begins to happen and the whole thing starts moving towards screwing it up.
It could be anything – a vice (alcohol/ cigarette/ food/ shopping), a project at work, a relationship – anything.
The minute it graduates from “freshly put in the fridge” to “slightly old on the verge of fermentation”, that’s when things start moving downwards.
What’s the moral of the story then?
Well, for me, there are two things that I learnt.
To stop worrying about something that is way beyond my control. There are two things I can choose to do – worry my heart out, or let things be as they are and go with the flow. Either ways, I cannot, in any way, influence the eventual outcome.
To stop planning ahead. What’s the point anyway? I mean, when have plans ever worked out for anyone? Unless, of course it’s a lesson plan or something.
The toughest bit was to stop having those conversations in my head, you know, contemplating what the other person would say and what my response would be.
That’s the worst thing. Because you would go meet some person expecting something while something totally different would be lying in wait for you. The disappointment is unbearable. And yeah, you can trust me on that one.
So yeah, that’s all for today.
Tomorrow, another new life’s lesson.