The following is a transcript from the opening monologue of a video called For People Who Worry a Lot by Joe Delaney.
So I keep having this thought, right?
That one day, when I’m a proper grownup, I’m going to have a kid. And I think about what I want for that kid. And the thought that keeps popping up in my head is…
I hope my kid doesn’t worry a lot.
Like, I hope he’s not a worrier.
Because above all else, I think is the single, biggest internal factor that determines your happiness the most. And I understand that’s quite a statement but just let me explain.
When you’re young, you think that happiness is a consequence of ticking boxes.
You think it comes after you achieve or obtain things.
When you find the girl, or get the career, or achieve the status. When you become successful enough to feel worthy of respect. When you get the fast car or the big house, have the family, or finally have the free time to spend on what you love most. And these are all great things but they’re really all just milestones. They’re just markers along a much longer path consisting of all the work and the progress and steps that went toward finally getting there.
And the truth is, most of your life is not the thrill of finally getting there. Most of it is just being somewhere along the way. Most of your life is not the day that you lose your virginity or graduate or your wedding day or the day your firstborn arrives or the day you retire or buy a fucking yacht or win a Nobel Prize or get a million subscribers on YouTube.
Most of your life is just proper normal shit. Most of your life is basically a Tuesday afternoon. It’s doing a bit of work, going to the shop for milk and bread, deciding which film to watch on Netflix, having a coffee in the morning, being stuck in traffic, waiting for your dinner to be ready, filling out forms, standing in queues, brushing your teeth. Even for the person with the most exciting life, still, the majority of it is a string of very normal moments.
And so the real question becomes…
What’s your normal?
What are you thinking about when your mind drifts? Can you feel present? Can you appreciate the little things? How comfortable do you feel when there is no distraction? And how do you think about the future?
The one thing that will fuck up every single normal moment you have is worrying.
Worrying makes any uncertainty something to be scared of rather than something to be excited about.
It’ll keep you occupied thinking about the bad stuff that might happen rather than enjoying the good stuff that actually does happen. It makes the worst case scenario seem way more likely than it actually ever is. It hinders your ability to concentrate and to be creative. It makes you overly risk-averse and it will dull all the best parts of your everyday, normal life that deserve to be appreciated.
Because you know what tastes better than peanut butter and banana on a bagel? It’s peanut butter and banana on a bagel when you’re not worrying about shit.