Happiness Tool 3 - Defeating Faulty Thinking Part 2

If you refuse to ever fail or make a mistake, you’re consigning yourself to a life of passivity,
and that’s the biggest failure of all. You have to mess up to learn and grow. In fact, sometimes
“failures” turn out to be wildly successful and better than the original intent. For example,
the removable, re-stickable adhesive that makes Post-It Notes possible was developed in
a failed attempt to make a super permanent adhesive. We should all be so lucky as to fail
like that!

3. People and things should conform to your idea of the way the world should work. If they
don’t, they’re wrong and bad.
We all have ideas for better ways to run the world—how it should be. But the fact is, we
don’t live in the world of “should,” we live in
the world of “is.” People drive like idiots or
maniacs,19 they leave their shopping carts
blocking the aisle, they litter, they misspell
words. 

You may be able to educate them, but
it’s unlikely you’ll change them. You can only
change yourself.
Any time you catch yourself saying “should,”
notice it. You’re wasting energy. No matter how
you think things should be, they’re not that
way, and getting upset about it will not help.
Instead, deal with life as it really is.

4. If something goes wrong, it’s somebody’s
fault. You better make sure it’s not yours.
Things go wrong all the time, and finding
someone to blame doesn’t fix anything. Even if
a particular person is clearly responsible for causing the situation, blaming them is unlikely to help. It may make you feel better in the short term, but it hurts the relationship in the long term. (Nobody likes having their nose rubbed in their failings or hearing “I told you so.”) Instead, focus on a solution.

5. Worrying about something will make it turn out better than if you didn’t worry. This is so obviously ludicrous when it’s written out, it’s laughable, but many of us still act as if it were true. If your worrying points out a risk that you can take action to mitigate, then go for it, but worrying alone helps nothing. Yet we often act like we’re falling down on the job if we’re not worrying.

If you find it hard to quit cold turkey, this story may help. A. J. Jacobs, editor-at-large at
Esquire magazine, did a life experiment where he started outsourcing more and more tasks to personal assistants in India. 

First he had his assistants doing research and clerical tasks, then he had them take over his
correspondence. He kept giving them more assignments as he thought of things he didn’t
like doing. Finally, he realized he was spending a lot of energy worrying about a big project he was working on, and decided to try outsourcing his worry. He didn’t outsource the project, just worrying about it. He asked his assistant if she would worry about it in his stead, and she promised: “I will worry about this every day. Do not worry.“ It worked: “Every time I started to ruminate, I’d remind myself that [my assistant] was already on the case, and I’d relax.”After I read this, I realized I was worrying about a lot of things, and it wasn’t accomplishing anything. I don’t have an assistant in India, but A. J. does, and I figured if she’s already worrying about his stuff, it’s not much more trouble to worry about mine, too.
So I decided to pretend to outsource my worrying to her. Every time I felt myself beginning to worry or dwell on something upsetting, I just told myself A. J.’s assistant was on that and I could stop. Nothing came out any worse for my not angsting over it, and I felt a whole lot better. Over time, short circuiting my worrying this way has become a habit, and I worry much less.

NB: A few pointers A.J, Jacobs is a a bit of a maverick who spent an entire year reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z in his bid to become the smartest man on earth. 
I'm currently struggling with reading a page of the dictionary a day but in my bid to increase my diction but I'll get there in the end. I'm not sure if outsourcing your worries will catch on, what do you think?

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