Have you ever thought, “of course I need to worry about the future, otherwise I will not be able to predict what will happen and prepare for it.”
I have TOTALLY done this many times!
A couple of weeks ago, I met a girl who helped me realize that worrying is a complete waste of time.
She arrived earlier that morning at the hostel. Dropped her bags, said a quick ‘hola’ to everyone hanging out by the pool and headed off to withdraw money.
It was now a few hours later in the afternoon as she lay by the pool that Victoria told us about the situation she was in.
Wrapping a towel around her waist and shaking off the excess water in her hair, she gave out a relaxing sigh and joined a few of us by the patio.
“I will be in Chile for 10 days and all I have in cash money is 7,000 pesos ($14 USD).
I was not aware that Argentineans can only use credit cards for purchases and are prohibited to withdraw money outside the country.”
Of course we all had the same thought in mind; the state we’d all be in at that moment if we were in her situation. One thing is for sure, we would definitely not be relaxing by the pool…
While most of us sat there looking at her, not knowing what to say, one girl spoke out the words that the rest of us were thinking.
“OMG!!! What are you going to do? How could you be so relaxed? You are a girl traveling alone with practically no money. Do you realize that you won’t be able to last 10 days with that amount of money?”
As Victoria listened to every word, she nodded her head up and down and smiled as if understanding why someone would be freakin’ out given the situation.
“Yes, I could very easily be stressed out right now. If I think about all those things and start worrying about them, I’ll probably end my vacation today and buy a return ticket back home. I REALLY don’t want to do that! So, I decided to just sit back, relax and rather than worry, I preferred to deal with my present situation by thinking about my alternative options and come up with a plan that will consist of enjoying my full vacation. So, when I came over and told you of my situation, I was also coming with my plan I put together while I was swimming.”
We all laughed and eagerly asked her about her plan.
“Well, I was wondering if any of you will be going shopping. If you agree, I would come along, pay for your items on my credit card and you could give me the cash money in Chilean pesos.”
At the end of putting her plan into action, Victoria got a few people who had some Christmas shopping to do and stock up on groceries and wine for the holidays. In total, she managed to get over $500 USD and continue having a GREAT vacation!
I share Victoria’s story with you because occasionally
we all worry about the future and lose sight of what’s happening around us NOW.
We all think of the things that could go wrong which could lead us in making decisions that were never a part of our vision. This doesn’t mean that we should stop planning for the future and live in a fantasy world. Of course we need to be realistic, look ahead and plan. It’s when we look ahead in the future and start worrying that we stop living the present moment and miss out on all the possible opportunities. Sometimes, no matter how much we plan to create a life we want or plan for any project in our lives; career, marriage, trip, children’s future, etc, obstacles come our way that interrupt our plans. Just like Victoria’s example, we need to gain sight of our current situation and remember that we can handle it.
Because we are dealing with it in the present moment, we are PLANNING for our future, not living in it and appreciating the NOW!
How about you, do you worry or plan for the future? Has Victoria’s story helped you to see the difference between the two?