“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”
Elbert Hubbard said that. It’s profound and so true.
Many people agonise over even the smallest decisions. They worry about daily interactions with people and the impressions they are making on others. And sometimes even wrestle with each word of a simple email.
“People tend the take everything too seriously. Especially themselves. Yep. And that’s probably what makes ’em scared and hurt so much of the time. Life is too serious to take that seriously, ” says Tom Robbins.
Sometimes seriousness happens when we see everything as evidence of our abilities, values, ethics. When in doubt, question if you’re trying to prove yourself.
Everyone has responsibilities and goals to achieve. There are probably countless things you must do and so many people depending on you.
Seriousness should be there as per the weight of the situation. You are the best judge to decide the weight of every problem or obstacle you have to overcome.
An overemphasis on seriousness in life lends itself to a narrow way of understanding what’s worth your time and attention. It can even make you less productive by making you so nervous about one thing in particular.
You are also likely to misjudge other people’s reaction if you are too serious about everything. A serious attitude makes it difficult to connect better with others. When you stop taking everything so seriously, you make more genuine connections that can have a positive influence on your life. A relaxed personality is not an indication that you are irresponsible.
The problem with taking ourselves too seriously is that we choose to look for approval — the fear of rejection prevent us from living our best lives. We allow people to become our judges.
Fear of ridicule makes us overthink everything. The need for worthiness — pleasing, performing, and perfecting consumes us.
When you wrongly convince yourself that the world is a stage, you become an actor who must perform to please. That mindset can make the rest of your life miserable. Living our lives as an endless performance is exhausting — we are always playing a part.
Often people who take things too seriously are perfectionists and can’t tolerate their imperfections and vulnerabilities.
Here is the thing, you start living when we aren’t excessively worrying and overly concerned with every potential “what if?” scenario. Stress and worry is not a responsible way to deal with life’s challenges.
Whilst you are busy worrying about everything you need to sort out, you miss out on enjoying the little things that matter. You miss out on the moments of significance that can make you happy and fulfilled in life. You miss out connecting with people on a deeper level.
Imagine a world where everyone took prioritised self-care and their own well-being first before stressing about everything wrong in their lives.
Here is the real truth — while things are nowhere near perfect — the sun still rise and fall every day. The sky isn’t falling. It isn’t. The evolution and transformation of everything around us will still continue when we are no more around to witness it.
You can probably see this in your own life. You are changing but you are too busy stressing about everything to notice or enjoy the process.
Get out of your own head. All that worry is worth your sanity. Try to stop taking everything so seriously and witness the difference that makes in your life. Go for whatever you have always wanted, but make sure to have fun in the process.
Build and improve your career, but don’t make your career your life. They two are not the same. By all means, plan your finances but don’t about every penny you spend on coffee. Spend time with family, friends and colleagues without worrying too much about what they think about you.
The truth is nobody is thinking about you or judging you as much as you are judging yourself.
Relax into the moment and enjoy life more
Sanity returns as you focus on what is at hand, give it your very best and keep moving. Appreciate your journey in life as much as the destination you seek. No one is perfect or has all the answers. I don’t. I make the most of every day.
Just live. Or even better — learn live to live a life looking forward to today’s opportunities.
Things can seem like a big deal from our little plot of existence. Everything happening in your life can come off as monumental. That can stress you out. When life becomes very serious, you stop living. Don’t drive yourself crazy with all the things you feel have to be done. Be conscious of what you tell yourself so you can start appreciating what you get to do.
Use simple questions to keep things in perspective. When you feel intense seriousness start to bubble up inside, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this worth getting upset over?
- Is this really so important right now?
- Is the situation really that bad beyond repair?
- Is this my problem at all?
This can help you calm down, relax and focus on overcoming the obstacle or find a solution quickly and moving on. You don’t want to get stuck over anything significant.
You don’t have control over a lot of things as you think. There’s nothing you can control except right now, this moment and your availability to it.
End the vicious cycle by aligning yourself to the brighter, and lighter version of yourself. Add more humour to your life — surround yourself with funny people, turn off the news and watch a comedy instead. Be okay being vulnerable. Move from measurement to possibilities.
By learning how to spread some lightness into your life, you can stop being too serious and spend more time enjoying life.
No, things won’t always be easy. But this life is still so good — laugh, be cheerful, be open, be free. Smile, it’s free therapy!!! Just Live.
Originally published on Medium.
Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.