Worrying solves nothing

2 12 2008

Life is but a continuous flow of seemingly unconnected situations that unexpectedly end up being tightly coupled. Today I was able to connect several of those dots and would love to share.

Ready,
Amidst current country of residence crisis (Argentina) amplified by the current world financial crisis, my wife and I discussed during several nights and days about the worrisome situation and how scary it is to have our 10mo dwarf riding with us this turbid waves.

Set,
Last Thursday I went to an offline event organized by the Buenos Aires city government: Buenos Aires 2.0 (spanish). There, I had the chance of not only chatting with one of the most amazing and delightful dudes, Mariano Wechsler, but also had the chance to listen to a talk by Alec Oxenford (Spanish), my former manager. Uncalled for, yet so commonly Alec, the subject of his presentation was: how to face a crisis while endeavoring. 

Go!
By randomly following links that seemed interesting, I landed on a book by Stefan Sagmeister: “Things I have learned in my life so far” and ended up visiting the project site.

How does all this connect? Mainly they link on this post title, a quote by Stefan: “Worrying solves nothing”. Worrying is like sitting around contemplating the mayhem, it is inaction and it is more condemnable if you not only sit and see but also either jump in and break havoc or criticize on what others are trying to do to fix the situation. Why do most of us just sit idle instead of act? 

For starters, Malcom Gladwell has written about two theories, which apply to lots of situations ranging form criminal behavior to corporate injustices, which might explain this:

The bystander problem: when witnessing something being done the wrong way and we find our selves in the middle of a group or crowd, we tend to think someone else is going to strip her survival instinct, jump in and save the day.

The broken glass theory (Philip Zimbardo brain child): some of us don’t act upon correcting the causes of the chaos and instead just jump to help chaos unleash throughout the community. “..disorder invites even more disorder-that a small deviation from the norm can set into motion a cascade of vandalism and criminality.”

A tribute (for the times that fun runs out of hand)

A tribute (for the times that fun runs out of hand) by notsogood

 Likewise, some of us just stay idle because we have an irrational fear of failing at something, at trying to reach a goal and end up muddled and being laughed at because we cried wolf to early. Paraphrasing Alec: failure is over priced, to fail is not all that bad if you learn from the mistakes you committed and use that said knowledge in the future.

He also happened to bravely mention something commonly known on the internet industry but otherwise not spoken: it is almost impossible to understand the ins and outs of every metric that can generate a change in your product performance, but what is not unattainable is the knowledge of the things that make you fail so you can at least try not to fail so many more times in the future.

What is in for you in this story? I hope I’ve got you meditating upon your current state, wondering if you are just inoperative, idle and inactive or are doing something to try better your surroundings better for you and others.

Am I diving into the action? Definitely, these new frames on my life flick gave me new energy to keep giving my advice to those who ask for it and pursuing my goal: own product development consultancy shop. I end the post with the peace of mind that I am acting to change my surroundings.

Further reading

Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone (Seth Godin) 

Sacrificing the sacred cows (Neil Perkin)

Web meets World. Web 2.0 expo presentation by a favorite of mine Tim O’reilly  

Ps. If any of you is located @ Buenos Aires and is interesting in reading some of the books or authors I’ve mentioned on the blog but do not have the chance to purchase them just drop me a twit and I will gladly lend some.

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3 responses

2 12 2008
Mariana

Some of us think that we do something to solve problems, and most of the time, we really do not do nothing, we just sit and complain, but we do not carry on for action!

I loved this article, I have to get into action, for my work, for my economy, for my life, for my heart, for everything, all things in life require action!

Thanks for the tip!

23 12 2008
sdosher

Your blog is very inspiring. I have taken alot of action lately to change various things in my life and I’ve really accomplished some great things lately. One thing I do know is that worrying does not solve anything.

24 12 2008
masan

Thank you for your kind words, from time to time one needs this kind of reassurance :). Merry Xmas and a happy new year for you and your family.

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