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f(t) f(t+Δt)…a post on perspective

I was sick with worry, waiting for the results. You know that feeling? Maybe you’re waiting to hear back from the school you applied to, or the doctor after a blood test…To distract me, my mother said we’ll go visit her friends. She needed to go shopping with her friend, and I was to hang out with her friend’s mother; a 70 year old woman I adored so much.

Grandma (technically she’s not my grandma but she might as well have been) launched into her life story that started with her getting on a boat from Yemen to Kenya. Her enthralling narrative took me through her childhood, her first marriage, and then the second. At some point, her voice turned hoarse and she had to stop.

But talking to her at that particular time did wonders to my worry worms. I found myself thinking about perspective, and how there must have been so many things along the way that annoyed/worried her but at the end of the day, nothing happened except that which was meant to be.

And that brings us to the whole f(t) concept.

You know how they say it doesn’t matter what happens to you but what matters is how you react to what happens to you? And our reactions are always a function of time {f(t)}, with the most intense reaction at t=0. However, at t+Δt, the intensity of that reaction decreases gradually until it no longer affects us much or we end up laughing at it. Knowing this, one strategy I use whenever something starts to worry me is switch my mind to t+Δt at t=0. I tell myself, in the long term will this matter? If the answer was yes because this thing had the potential of altering the direction of my life, I’d tell myself one day I’m going to connect the dots looking backwards and realize why it was important for it to happen at exactly this particular time.

So if you find yourself worried about something today, change your perspective, toggle the switch between the two views –  f(t) and f(t+Δt) – and stop worrying.

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Published inLife LessonsPersonal Development