#479 How to Bottle Up Your Worries

You, Fog and Some Elevation

I live in a tiny little town in Southern California called Ojai.

Our town is in a valley and every morning I do my sunrise hike/trail run in the mountains that overlook the valley. One of my absolute favorite things is to be above the town on the rare days when I can look down to see clouds of fog kinda sitting on the town below.

For whatever reason, that just fills my soul with joy and awe.

It also reminds me of an Earl Nightingale story.

Here’s how Nightingale puts it in The Essence of Success: “According to the Bureau of Standards, ‘A dense fog covering seven city blocks, to a depth of 100 feet, is composed of something less than one glass of water.’ That is, all the fog covering seven city blocks, at 100 feet deep could be, if it were gotten all together, held in a single drinking glass. It would not quite fill it. And this could be compared to our worries. If we can see into the future and if we could see our problems in their true light, they wouldn’t tend to blind us to the world, to living itself, but instead could be relegated to their true size and place. And if all the things most people worry about were reduced to their true size, you could probably put them all into a water glass, too.”

Imagine that.

I’m sitting there above my town (or you’re above yours!) and ALL that fog—that’s 100-feet deep and covers seven city blocks!!—can be squozen (technical term) into a single drinking glass?

That’s amazing! (Right?)

Well, you know that worry-fog that can often roll into your life? All those thoughts about the future that might freak you out?

Couple of things.

First: Ascend the mountain in your mind and know that, from a higher physical or psychological elevation, you’re ABOVE your worry-fog.

Second: From that elevated vantage point, smile, know that emotions are just like weather patterns—they come and they go—and then imagine bottling all that worry up into a single glass.

Then go do what needs to get done with a spring in your step and the confidence that you have what it takes to deal with whatever challenges life brings you.

(btw: It’s a LOT easier to deal with that worry after you’ve exercised. So, perhaps when the fog is most dense you can make sure you’re hitting the trail or doing whatever you do to keep yourself sane and Optimized?! 💪)

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