When I was a kid and really upset about something, my mother always used to say to me, “what difference will it make in a year.” I hated that question. I thought she wasn’t paying any attention to my problems. As I’ve gotten older I realized that this was a really excellent rule of thumb. The big things in life will still be important in a year, while the little things; like a ruined dinner, being late to a meeting or choosing a vacation destination aren’t really worth the negative impact of stress and anxiety.
So when something is really stressing you out, stop and ask yourself the question:
“What difference will it make a year from now?”
If one year feels too long for a ‘will-it-matter’ yardstick, then choose the interval that works for you; 1 week, 1 month, 3 months or 6 months. Carefully consider whether the issue is important enough to demand some of your limited and precious time & energy. If the answer is yes, by all means give the issue everything it requires. However, if the answer is no, stop stressing un-necessarily.
If today’s choices have no impact a year from now, just roll with the flow and let it go.