In the moment, certain events or worries in our lives feel so pressing and stressful and urgent, when in reality, very few things actually have a long term effect on our lives. If you’re ever stressing over something that you’re not sure is important or not, ask yourself this: “Will this matter when you’re 90 years old?”
Will This Matter When You’re 90 Years Old?
When I was in high school (and even earlier than that), I used to stress out excessively about tests and grades and the like. I’d be bawling my eyes out worried that I was going to fail an exam (and on a few occasions, I actually did). There was something about the culture of AP and honors classes that led students to believe that if you ever failed a test, you were going to fail at life overall.
But that’s not how it works.
At the time, something like our grades in school or first heartbreak or unrequited love might feel soul-crushing and like the world is truly over and there’s no hope for the future, but that’s not true.
Take a step back. Imagine you’re 90 years old and sitting in a nursing home, or swinging on your front porch in rocking chairs with your sweetie. And maybe someone asks you at some point, “What are your biggest regrets in life?”
And as you look back on your life, you realize that the playground bullies or failed high school exams or being fired from a job or getting dumped didn’t matter in the long run nearly as much as they did at the time. If you have any regrets in life at that point, it will probably be over not following your heart, not telling people you love them often enough, or worrying too much about what other people think.
With enough time and distance, even the worst situations or “failures” get put into perspective. Usually things in your life change after a long series of actions taken, rather than a single defining moment or event.
Always remember the big picture, and don’t lose sight of the forest because of the trees. 🙂