The need for certainty is inherent within all humans and makes up one of the six core needs of the individual. In essence it’s neither good nor bad, however a problem arises when we become overly reliant on having things go the way we expect. And when things don’t quite work out the way we had anticipated and we become stressed or consumed with worry, we can quickly feel the effects of anxiety in our lives.
The major problem with anxiety is that it’s rooted in our attempts to control our environment, and in a world with so many variables, control is simply an illusion. We can’t possibly attend to every idea, attitude, opinion or action of others, so we face the challenge of resourcefully functioning in a world outside the scope of our own control.
British philosopher Alan Watts had a lot to say on this subject, and what he shared in many writings and public addresses challenges our experience. Watts not only challenged the idea of control, he challenged the very principle of time itself. And when we realise that time is a construct of the mind, we are liberated to make far more empowering choices as we let go of past, realise our future is constructed in who we are being right now, and choose to exist in a high quality present. I trust the following article adds value.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard wrote in her timeless reflection on presence over productivity – a timely antidote to the central anxiety of our productivity-obsessed age. Indeed, my own New Year’s resolution has been to stop measuring my days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.