I took the dog for a nice long walk today. Sometimes when we walk I wear headphones and listen to a podcast. Not as much lately and not today.
As I walked my mind kept circling to a problem that I am facing, a difficult conversation in the near future. Circling, circling, circling.
As I do, I obsessively constructed and reconstructed the perfect dialogue in my mind. I will say this, and then this…no, this and then that. Again, again, again. Rehearsing, obsessing, obsessing, rehearsing.
All the time more anxious, more uncertain, and more unsettled by the unknown outcome.
After a long uphill climb I remembered something important: I don’t have to do this. I get to focus on whatever I want.
I chose to focus on the walk instead.
My mind cleared, my lungs expanded.
And the day said to me, “Welcome. We’re glad to have you back.”
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world.