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Know What You're Doing

When I woke up this morning, I was abnormally stressed about the day ahead.  Each day there are so many things I want to accomplish, and so many competitng factors that make it seem impossible to achieve.

After a quick five-minute meditation to quiet my already racing mind, I threw on my new tennis shoes and began my trek to the gymnasium.  The walk helped put me at ease, but I still found myself contemplating how I was going to address this apparent anxiety issue.  In the back of my mind, I realize that I don’t even have that much to do.  It’s simply my tendency to overthink that leads small things to grow and seem larger.

If I’m like this now, what will I be like in a week when you add college classwork to the mix?

The moment I popped my headphones (I listened to Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Ray for much of the workout) and began lifting weights, my anxiety plummetted.  At the gym, there’s no question between what you should and shouldn’t be doing.  If you’re doing anything other than sweating and lifting heavy objects in awkward positions, you’re wasting your time.

In other spheres of life, it’s less clear.  Most days, my computer sits idly before me and provides me with unnumerable options moving forward.  I can check my overabundance of social networking profiles and see what my friends and acquantainces are doing, write an article, surf the web, or close the computer and do something else altogether.  There is no apparent answer to what I should be doing, and thus confusion and anxiety take the wheel.

Set a Clear Course

The key?  Find purpose in what you do.  When I opened my Macbook about half an hour ago, I knew exactly how I was going to spend my time.  This way I wouldn’t simply let my mind wander, only to find that my key accomplishment was burning my retinas on my beautiful retina display.

Now, I’ve completed the work I planned to.  I don’t have any other clear objectives to complete on the computer right now.  So, after I publish this post, I’ll close it and go find something else to do.


At the end of the day, I just have to come to the realization that it’s only going to get harder, and that much of my concerns and anxiety have nothing to do with the tasks at hand, but with other insecurities that render me afraid to complete them.  

For example, I’m interested in starting a fund to provide school supplies for children.  This would be done purely through donations to start, and would be a way of readers saying “thanks” and supporting a good cause.  Whenever someone asks me about it, though, I shrivel up and say nothing, or pretend like I’m not passionate about it.  How dumb of me.

The same goes for some of my writing tasks: Lately I have been pitted with engaging in phone interviews, which can often be uncomfortable and awkward, especially with a parent droning around.  Overcoming these silly insecurities is what I think will ultimately put me at ease and help me stop sweating the small stuff.