A Story About Death That Helped Me Overcome Overthinking
What it takes to live more.
Growing up, I used to have a severe addiction: overthinking.
When I was younger, I worried too much about simple things like handing over an assignment to a teacher or saying hello to a new friend.
As I grew older, this manifested itself in more severe forms, like agonizing over what college to pick and spending hours debating whether or not adding a certain degree to my name would add any value to my life.
When I started my business, this addiction got worse.
Whenever I got a new business idea, I thought of possible scenarios in which I might fail. I ran over the cons of the new venture so many times in my mind that by the time I sat to take some action, all my motivation was gone.
None of these business ventures ever saw the light of day.
But this post isn’t about those failures. This post is about how I managed to end my addiction. It was possible only because of this story of a village visited by “Death.”
The story that changed my life
One day, a farmer ventured out of his village to try his luck.
After walking for a few hours, he came across a fast-flowing river with a narrow bridge. He was frightened, knowing he could never make it to the other end alive. He didn’t want to die here but was reluctant to turn back.
Then he saw someone already standing near the bridge.
The man was hooded in complete black. He had red eyes and no smile. When he came closer, the farmer realized the stranger was “Death” himself.
Terrified, he was sure these were his last few moments on the planet.
But Death just let out a hollow laugh and said, “Beware, O Human. Before the sun rises tomorrow, I will visit your village and take 50 of your people.”
The man was scared beyond words. He ran back home and shared the sad news with his folks. The entire village was in a state of shock and dismay as they went to sleep.
The next day, almost 500 people were dead.
The farmer felt a sense of betrayal.
He rushed towards the same river to meet Death and demand back his friends’ life.
Death was waiting for him at the same spot. Laughing, Death enquired, “I see, Human. You have come here again. What brings you to me?”
Shaking with fear and rage, the farmer shouted, “You had foretold you’d take 50 of my village men, but you took 500. What did those poor men do to deserve such wrath?”
Death’s reply shocked the man, “Oh, but I took only 50, Human. Worry took the rest.”
What you can learn from Death’s story
Stop overthinking. The outcomes are not in your control.
Most of what happens in life is a game of chance. The more you show up and give your best, the better your chances of making it big.
After all, you can’t hope to win the lottery if you never buy the ticket, right?
Don’t waste precious time overthinking and over-analyzing every aspect of your decision. Take action.
“Worrying means you suffer twice” — Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them.