- Thoughts for inspired living

July 14, 2014

Planning to Be Upset

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:24 am

Island GreenI can think of no bigger waste of energy than planning to be upset, yet we all do it.

“If so and so doesn’t give me the answer I’m looking for, I’ll be upset.”

“if my team doesn’t win the big game, I’ll be upset.”

“If he does what I’m expecting he’ll do, I’ll be upset.”

Notice that the focus is on upset in a time that doesn’t yet exist. That’s the lunacy of planning to be upset.

Not only does it become a self fulfilling prophesy, it upsets us now when there are no actual conditions present.

When you rob yourself of the present, you can’t help but rob yourself in the future. It becomes a patterned way of doing things.

It’s helpful to notice that you’re planning to be upset. It can actually be very comical when you consider the absurdity of it. My step-mother had an expression she used that sums up this upsetting practice: “You holler before you’re hurt.”

Planning on how you’re going to feel at a future date contaminates and limits the actual choices you’ll have in the future.

Look no further than professional golf. These are the best players in the world but watch what happens to them when they are presented with a water hazard. Their accuracy percentage goes way down. Let’s say it’s a 130 yard shot over water to hit the green. If you compare all their 130 yard shots without water present to the ones where it is, you will find them missing the water shot more often.

What happened? They were planning to be upset. That water hole will be there every round. What would happen if they just played the hole when they got there rather than having it be the focus of attention well beforehand? Ask any golfer, professional or weekend hacker, who has played a course where there is an island green, when they started thinking about that hole.

You lose life enriching spontaneity when you plan to be upset. Be upset when you’re upset, just don’t throw an engagement party for it.

There will be enough upsets in our lives without planning them. Just begin to notice how often you engage in this practice. Just noticing the pattern, while it is happening, is often enough of a wedge to keep you from going in the water.

All the best,


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