Tuesday, September 24, 2013

No Worries

Sitting at the Outback Steakhouse with a good friend the other night we heard the waiter comment, "No worries," when asked if a customer could have her salad dressing on the side. Now I know what the phrase "on the side" refers to but, "no worries"?

A quick Internet search yielded the factoid that "no worries" is an Australian-English expression. It means "do not worry about that," "that's all right," or "sure thing." The phrase is widely used in Australian speech and represents a feeling of friendliness, good humor, optimism and "mateship" in Australian culture. The phrase has been referred to as the national motto of Australia.

But I do worry.

In fact I spent most of the previous night worrying about how I would get a file I needed. I was out of town and left it at the office. I spent quality, sleeping time, lying awake as I worried about how to get the file.

At the table my friend suggested I simply call the office and have someone e-mail the file to me. That sure sounded reasonable. I did, they did, and three minutes later the problem was solved. I had the file.

So why do I worry?

Psychologists have written books on the topic, and ministers have preached sermons addressing it. About it, mothers have consoled, fathers have rationalized, and friends have commiserated. It's a worldwide phenomenon crossing all cultures and races. It plagues the young and the old, male and female, and shows no discrimination. For me, I think it boils down to the fact that I don't want to not be in control.

Sound familiar?

Guys, maybe we can learn a lesson from my sleepless night. Sometimes we just need to recognize we aren't always the ones in control. (In fact, truth be told most times we aren't the ones in control.) I would have done much better to shelve the problem and tackle it in the morning, when I could do something about it. Lesson learned: maybe it's okay to just accept the things we can't control.

It takes practice, but it can be done. It might even take adopting a sign from our surfer buddies out west. The next time you feel uptight about something, consider our Hawaiian friends, especially if your problem feels like you're facing a wall of water four stories high.

The sign's called the "shaka." It means "hang loose!"

Try it.

No comments :