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My blog seems to be about all sorts of awful things, but, and this is a big but, they always have a proposal for improving the problem. The subtitle of Probaway is Life Hacks and by that I mean to imply operational ways of coping with whatever problems are postulated in the beginning. It is sort of formulaic, but it usually leads to some sort of helpful suggestions by the end. Having done well over a thousand posts now, I can’t assure that every last one has conformed to that goal, but that was the goal.

Much of the time people worry in endless cycles and that leads to needless despair, because if they come back again to where they just departed a while ago there will never be a resolution, and the pain will continue. Eventually, something will distract them from the cycle, but if there were no solutions proposed to correct the unresolved problem, then the cycle will intrude itself into the thoughts in the future, and the cycle will continue in its debilitating spin.

Of course some problems have no acceptable answer from some particular point of view. But then it is possible to change the way the problem is framed. For example, everyone is going to die. You are going to die. Your consciousness will vanish, and your body will evaporate into dissociated atoms. Everyone knows that and must come to terms with it, one way or another. The ancient pharaohs of Egypt built vast pyramids of stone to mark their resting place so their postulated Gods could find them and resurrect these desperate people into heaven. Eventually, in some distant future, they and their monuments will be absolutely indistinguishable from random atoms floating about the Universe. With vastly less to distinguish our own selves, bodies and productions, we will evaporate into even less remarkable futures.

Some people might consider this distressing, but if you change your point of view just a little and realize that you are made of the stuff of the Universe, that you came from it, that you are now of it, and that you will remain in it, that you will participate in whatever is in store in that vastly grander thing than you are personally, then you can take pleasure in that distant future. You can revel in that future and while doing so you can more fully appreciate the place in which you momentarily live.

There are few things which cause more dread than death; that is why it makes a good example, but when you approach every worry as simply a problem to be formulated in such as way as to have a reasonable solution, then you can put an end to endless cycles of needless worry and find things which are more fun and interesting.

If you find yourself worrying about the same old thing again, postulate a new solution and work out ways of making that solution work for you. Some problems, like death, will never be totally resolved, but you can find ways of relating to it that are actually pleasurable.

When you find yourself involved in cyclic worrying, stop and say “I am going to solve this problem by a reasonable action and then do what needs to be done to make it work.”