Masters of comebacks conjured years too late, enemies of instinct, and the bane of decisive folk, overthinkers are inevitable in this choice-filled world. However, considering all that could occur in life, it is absurd to contemplate all the if's and but's.
These tips don't apply to serious decisions like buying a house, or deciding whether to start a family. Even so, they are good for rethinking your approach to life. Sometimes, life's not that serious.
Consider this unsolicited advice from your blunt Aunt Joe. She’s carefree, careless, and assures these are tips you need to hear.
1. Care Less
Think about this, and be honest with yourself. Why do you care?
What motivates you to weigh the judgements of others more than your own thoughts?
I can tell you this: I don't have a valid reason for it.
In overthinking any situation you are wasting your energy, while effectively giving the matter at hand more power than it deserves.
Think about how awesome life would be if you cared a little bit less. Instead of being afraid you won't like that new ice cream flavor three bites in, sample it and go with your gut.
It’s an amazing feeling when you don't have to stop to over-contemplate your concerns.
2. Do It Anyway
No matter how much you care, do it anyway. Dance on the train. Smile at that girl. Pump your fist if you please. Whatever it is that you’ve had the urge to do, don’t hold back. As long as you aren’t causing harm to yourself or others, I condone it and Aunt Joe also approves.
Even if you’re embarrassed, the joy of doing the ‘thing’ and conquering your fear in that moment, outweighs all.
3. If you don’t have the guts, find a friend who does
Listen, you and I both know that some things take two. For instance, I don’t have the courage to road trip to Arizona on my own. Add a daring friend to the mix, and I just might go.
Think Marlin and Dory. They did that.
It’s easier to follow through, when you have a friend who could not care less. For one, they will hold you accountable as they push you past your comfort zone. Even better, a true friend will be there to catch you if you fall.
4. There's no objective proof that life is "real"
I don’t know what I don’t know. Does that make sense?
If it doesn’t then good, maybe it shouldn’t. As we each perceive life through our own points of view, and each of those perceptions is different, who is to say what is real and what isn't?
Of course, there's the collective reality that various groups have agreed on, but there's no way for humans to directly observe an objective view of life.
As for society, we shape it. We choose to impose standards, and our behaviors define social norms. So don’t be scared of defying conventions that you are otherwise going to reinforce. Define your own path. Some people will disagree, while others will applaud you for doing it. None of that should matter. All that counts is how you feel about what you have done.
5. Life is Absurd
Absurd: wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate (Google Dictionary)
This is true, even considering the most basic definition of the word.
Think about it. People spend so much time and energy in order to achieve success and find happiness. Many live in fear of death, but life's meaning is inextricably tied to the fact that beings die. Where is the sense in this?
As such, it doesn't make much sense to remain concerned over relatively insignificant matters, especially those that won't make much difference at the end of the day.
Do not let trivialities prevent you from chasing happiness.
This is advice I need to take.
6. Even if you embarrass yourself, people will forget
There's too much happening in the world for a stranger to hold on to the memory of your failure on the train. Worst case, he doesn't forget. Worst worst case, he records it and his video goes viral. What are the odds?
7. Rejection 'here' is not rejection everywhere
Let’s say you try this thing. I don’t know what it is. It’s your thing.
Anyway, let’s say you do it and you’re turned down, someone laughs, or you regret doing it. At least it’s done!
You had the courage to get out of your head for a moment. You had the courage not to care.
Don’t prevent yourself from trying again at some point in the future. For every person who maliciously laughs, there will be someone who admires, and for person who rejects your idea or proposal, there will be someone who is willing to accept it.
Just keep swimming.
8. Time is ticking. Stop wasting it.
We are all going to die. (I know. I’m charming.)
My point is, time is limited. Don't waste your moments you’re worrying about they way someone may perceive you.
I am most definitely guilty of this, but that doesn't diminish the point. If you only have one life to live, why spend so much of your time trying?
9. Life Goes On
To add to the whole “time doesn't stop for anyone” spiel, apparently life gets better when you stop caring. Don’t ask me, ask Aunt Joe. She would know.
All I know for sure is that it isn’t over until it’s over. (And even after it’s over, is it?)
10. Take a chance, and make a choice
Take this time to visualize how awesome it might feel to live without care. It must be nice.
Originally Published in All the Little Things on Medium