If Buddha followed Jesus on Twitter he would most definitely have retweeted yesterday’s rant and added these sage words at the end:
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly
Buddha gets straight to the source of our disturbance by pointing out the underlying thoughts behind the “what ifs” that plague our mind:
“what if I made the wrong choice,” “what if I can’t recreate how it used to be,” “what if I’m not as good as I once was,” — not to mourn for the past
“what if this goes wrong,” “what if they don’t like me,” “what if I fail,” “what if I can’t,” — worry about the future
“what if he cheats on me,” “what if my car breaks down,” “what if nobody comes,” — or anticipate troubles
I’ve talked about the “what if” debacle before and I will continue to do so until YOU end the madness!
Ok, maybe that was a little over the top. But my point is, the “what ifs” keep a lot of us stuck in a giant ball of worry and there is no progress in that ball…there’s no dancing in that ball, there’s no peace; and you can forget about finding beauty inside of that ball. So I have to encourage as many people as I can, as often as I can, to drop “what if” from their vocabulary. Buddha’s been doing it since 500B.C.
So he’s saying “don’t what if yourself to death.” But sage advice never leaves you a list of don’ts, it almost always clues you into helpful behaviors. Buddha’s advice:
“Live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
This isn’t your run of the mill “live in the present” quote. We hear that a lot these days…”be here now,” “live in the now,” “the power of now.” I read these books and listen to the talks only to come away with less of an understanding of what it means to be “in the now/present.” But through personal reflection, of which I highly recommend, I realized the simplicity of this task.
Living wisely in the present moment is nothing more than living according to your Purpose (there’s that word again). Jesus and Buddha agree: you must find your lane, get in your lane, stay in your lane, and not worry about other lanes. So instead of asking “what if,” you would be better off asking “what now?”
“What if I’m not ready” becomes “What do I do now to prepare myself.”
“What if I lose” becomes “What is it I need to do now in order to win?”
“What if we break up” becomes “What can I do now to create a loving and stable environment.”
Changing “what if” to “what now” is a powerful tool in replacing anxiety/worry with presence and action in your life. You don’t have to take my word for it, this is all straight from Buddha (and Jesus) himself:
“Don’t ‘what if’ yourself to death man, just stay focused on what you can do right now and you will be alright. Trust.”
Word to Buddha.