Be Happy, Be Creative (Part 2 of 4): “Don’t worry.”

I go to bed on most nights without worrying about anything. Even if there’s a problem that I have to deal with, I just tell myself, “Today is done. Time to rest. Tomorrow is a new day to solve any problem.”

This philosophy of worry-free living was taught to me by several people:

1. Two thousand years ago, Jesus said in the book of Matthew: “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

2. In 1993, my dragonboat coach Seilin told my team after we had a crummy day of poor performance: “The day will pass. The day will pass. We will fight again tomorrow.”

3. In the early 2010s, my wife and I met a mysterious old man at East Coast Park who gave me unsolicited advice, “Every day at work, there will be a new problem or new problems. But each day, if we can just solve one problem or two, it’s good enough. Let the rest of the problems stack up, we can only do so much today.”

I know it’s hard not to worry. Life is unpredictable, and we want to ensure everything goes well for our family and ourselves.

But worry crowds the brain and confines the mind to a small, dark place of sorrow and pain.

As a result, we may not experience new things, we may not think of setting aside time to learn new things, we may not want things to turn out differently from what we desire.

If we reverse the situation by not worrying too much, we will probably gather more ideas, learn more skills, and embrace unpredictable outcomes.

We will become more optimistic about solving the problems that come our way. When you become a good problem solver, you will always find creative ways to address difficult situations.

The great music conductor and teacher Benjamin Zander taught me another wise thing. He said that when we or someone else makes a mistake, we should not beat ourselves up or dwell on the mistake.

Instead, we should throw up our hands, smile and say, “How fascinating!”