Paying the Cost Today

If I say this, then she is just going to say this. If I don’t say it though…

We all have this type of internal conversation — simulating future possible events and speculating on their outcome. It’s one of the many things that distinguish us as humans. We simulate what the future might look like, playing out different scenarios. Sometimes we do this accurately and it helps us make good decisions, other times we don’t do so accurately (like deciding to deglaze a pan with vermouth instead of wine resulting in flaming spectacle).

Not only do we simulate the logical outcomes, but we also live through those scenarios emotionally. The same thing that makes the stories we hear so exciting, also makes our futures exciting or terrorizing. Projecting forward obviously helps us make good decisions, but it also can have a dark side.

Fear is a far more powerful emotion than pleasure. Worry stems from the stories we tell ourselves about outcomes we fear. This creates more fear, leading to more worry, all of which makes the outcome seem even more likely. Effectively what we are doing is paying the emotional cost of an event that may never occur. Instead of living the pain if the event occurs, we pay it today even though most of our worries never occur.

With unemployment high and uncertainty abounding about what the new year holds, it can be tempting to live our fears today stealing the joy of this very moment. Instead we should remind ourselves of all the possible positive outcomes as we project toward the future. This can help us recognize that we simply don’t know what tomorrow will hold, good or bad. What we can do is chose to enjoy the many blessings that surround us now, planning our future prudently not fearfully.

Happy New Year!!







One response to “Paying the Cost Today”

  1. Bill Gascoyne Avatar


    Thanks! A wonderful insight.

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