Don’t Worry Be Happy and Be Productive
A simple phrase, or lyrics as it may be. My father uttered these words to me on a regular basis as a child, and occasionally still does today. I remember listening to that song in my dad’s old den, and not really getting it.
I lived with my dad, and to his credit I think he raised a me to be a pretty awesome woman with a strong sense of self and confidence. I was stressed out as a kid, who knows why, everything set me off. I worried about other people, myself, what people thought of me, I’d get upset for characters on the show we were watching (I still do that sometimes) I used to get so bad I’d give myself hives.
He used to sing me the first few lines to “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. At the time I felt like he was nuts (although I’m sure my kids will think the same thing of me) what I didn’t realize was that he was teaching me one of the most important lessons in my life. So many times he’d sing me that song, make laugh and we’d talk about what was bothering me and then a solution.
What I didn’t get then was that he was calming me down so I could look at things logically (a tactic he used many times to successfully get an emotional and stressed little girl thru puberty without either of us ending up in prison 😉 )
What does this simple little phrase mean?
The main lessons my dad taught me were that stressing (read as freaking out in my case) is not going to do anything to help the situation no matter what it may be. There is no point to it other then upsetting yourself and prolonging the end result. Life will still go on, the work load will be there, so you can add to your workload by taking longer to deal with things or you can take control, and deal with it.
Focus only on the things you have control over. You can’t control what other people do or say, or how they react to what you do or say the only thing you have control over is yourself. If something is happening that is making you upset or angry…following through with most of the actions you are probably considering, isn’t going to get anywhere except likely upsetting more people. Another lyric from the song comes to mind: “when you worry you make it double”
Take a deep breath and evaluate the situation. What needs to happen to get things on track again? And which of those things do you have direct and complete control over?
Then you put on a smile, complete those tasks and move on.
Many times a problem will arise in whatever it is we many be working on, and we focus on the problem and start trying to place blame, or wondering how it could have happened, blaming ourselves, We should have paid close attention, it wouldn’t have happened if we had done it all ourselves, blah blah blah. You know, that internal dialog that makes you feel horrible by the end of the day and then you still have the problem to deal with.
With my dad’s voice echoing in my head I have found it to be more productive to take a problem and evaluate it to find a solution, and then work towards the solution. I can end my day with a smile on my face (and possibly a glass of wine) knowing that I successfully handled myself, and was productive in whatever it may be that the day threw at me.
As an entrepreneur this is an incredibly important lesson and especially for women in a world filled with people who may think they are superior….it really throws them off when you just smile and still do what you need to do to get things done 🙂
Does this mean I never get upset…I assure you that’s not the case. To this day, I’m sure the people that work with my dad must think he’s crazy because I’ve called him upset and he will still staring singing … and I’ll try to argue “I’m serious, I’m not little anymore, listen to what’s going on” he listens and replies “well don’t worry about it, you can’t change it, so put on a smile, be happy and focus on what you can fix yourself” (damn, he wins again!) Even my husband knows how to snap me out of it now (I think my dad must have sent him thru a training or something) now, if I’m letting something or someone get to me that I really have no control over my husband says “do I need to call your dad so he can sing to you?”
I invite you to you listen here if you wish, and get it stuck in your head along with me ….it just may help you through a tough time, solve a problem, get through your to do list or conquer the world.
Nice Article Ashley!
Ashley Nialetz says
Judith Briles says
Hi Ashley! You are so lucky to have a very caring and supportive father. It is no wonder that you are enjoying a successful life with all the support from the people that loves you.