I love this 2 min 30 second video. For those who haven’t seen “Bridge of Spies”, it’s a story of a Russian spy, Rudolf Abel, who was arrested in 1957 by the FBI on conspiracy charges— James Donovan (Tom Hanks) is the only lawyer who will represent him. Needless to say, the prospects for a captured Russian spy are not great…
Even though I’ve watched this 25+ times, I struggle to live by the “would it help” idea. If I’m waiting for the outcome of anything (will a deal come through, will this person take the offer, etc.), some of my mental cycles are wasted cycling through: “is there something else I can do to change this outcome”, “I wonder what they’re going to say”, “I wonder when they’ll get back to me”, “I really hope this works out”, etc.
What a waste… If I’ve already done everything I can to change an outcome, what’s the point in worrying about it. It just consumes brain energy, stresses me out so I don’t want to leave the office until it’s resolved, prevents me from focusing on the next thing. Time is so valuable and all I’m doing is wasting it. Allowing yourself to worry is letting yourself waste time.
The only solution I’ve found to this (for an over-thinking, neurotic person like myself), is the following: when I’m worrying about anything, I ask “is there something I can do to change this outcome”. If the answer is “no”, I intentionally try to move this worry out of my head and focus on the next thing. It’s massively difficult to stick to this, but it certainly helps.