Worry is a terrible use of imagination.
Worry, fear and second guessing are everywhere. It’s hard to say if it’s at an all-time high or if it just feels like it with the rise of fake news, social media amplification and the proliferation of stories that keep our minds hunting for the truth. Whatever the reason, we seem to be entering an age where there are no breaks or breathers for our consciousness to just stop and focus on what we can discern as truth, or measure with certainty. We are knee-deep in thoughts and worry, not just between 9-5pm, but now 24/7 and 365 days a year – there is noise all around us.
Of course, there is the other side of the coin that says all this complexity has only made us clearer about our collective want for simplicity. We crave confidence, feelings of clarity, the ability to see a path, and to pinpoint the underlying message before we try to forecast the future. With books like ‘It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America’ by David Cay Johnston on one side and ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’ by Mark Manson on the other, it’s easy to agree that 2017 may have been a little overwhelming.
However, if we spend too much time worrying, we leave no room for imagination. We waste energy on what might be, and not on what could be. Yes, the line is very similar, but it has a distinct difference. Imagination chooses to see possibilities – it’s best friends with innovation, and in a business context it can help you regain focus on your desired end goal.
This isn’t to say that you never think beyond the first step when developing your communication strategy, influence program or press release. This is crucial to ensure you’ve thought everything through thoroughly, but also should include things like risk register that will help you minimize risk, accept the things you can’t control, and make the decision to go ahead with the knowledge that you have done what you can to avoid late night worries.
Once you’re off it’s about having the tools in place to reduce worry and creating time for imagination or innovation. We like to fight worry with confidence. Our clients often use our Mediaportal Alerts or the Isentia App to alert them to news that needs attention, giving them peace of mind that someone else is on the case and the freedom to use their mind elsewhere. Or in some cases, it’s going to bed knowing that they will get an early morning daily brief of news coverage so that they can start the day with a clearer picture of what to priorities. Whatever’s going to give you back some confidence to let your mind refocus on producing more amazingness, do it.
You won’t regret a good idea. But you will regret the ones you never discover.