Before the occupation

Preoccupied seems to be the general state of mind these days (in the West anyway).

  • Why are my kid’s grades slipping?
  • Why can’t I get ahead?
  • I need more money.
  • I just can’t get to work on time.
  • I think I’m getting fired today.
  • Why did I say that at lunch today!?!
  • That was a stupid mistake! I’ll get reprimanded for sure.
  • I can’t do a project like that.
  • Will my kid drop out?
  • I’ll never get out of debt…
  • And the list goes on indefinitely.

The thing about being preoccupied is, as the word indicates, whatever you’re thinking about hasn’t occupied you yet. You’re imagining the worst case which means it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy: The more we worry and ignore what really is, the stronger the preoccupation gets and eventually becomes and all-consuming occupation.

The first thing to do really is to call out the pre-occupier. When you call out your debt, your child’s slipping grades, your mistake, you start to realize that it’s simply a situation you can remedy.

The second step is to take action. What concrete steps will get you out of debt? What can you do to help your child? How can you make sure this mistake never happens again?