Worrying might seem like a minor distraction that’s just part of your daily life. But there are at least three reasons why we should follow Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s advice to avoid worry and anxiety.
For one thing, worry is a form of arrogance. When we worry about a situation—often one that we got ourselves into, or even something imaginary—we’re complain that we’re too important to have to deal with the cause of our concern.
Secondly, it distracts us from solving the difficulty. Every minute spent worrying could have brought us a minute closer to finding a resolution.
It also weakens us by making us feel more dependent on other people or circumstances that we wish were different.
For example, Master Cheng Yen tells the story of a man who trained roosters to participate in cockfights. One day he decided to train his prize rooster differently. Within a few days the bird had become a champion, because it was impervious to the excited provocations of opposing roosters.
Jump and screech as they might, the other birds couldn’t provoke him into pointless action. Instead, the rooster stood stock still until an advantageous moment presented itself. Then he could quickly and efficiently take advantage of it.
Worry and anxiety make us behave like those jumpy birds. They throw us off balance as we nervously guess what will happen next, and what we should do in response.
Being able to remain calm in frenetic or uncertain situations demonstrates the personal cultivation that each of us should aspire to. And in today’s uncertain and fast-paced world, we have plenty of opportunities to work on our tendency to worry.
Many people take daily supplements for better physical and mental health. Register today as a Power of 5 contributor; then think of your small monthly donation as a “cultivation supplement.” Use it as a reminder that you can become someone who worries less and does more.