What I learned by watching a Russian spy
Sitting in a windowless holding cell at the bottom of some government building, the spy’s defense attorney looks at him and asks,
“Aren’t you worried?”
The spy’s response:
“Would it help?”
This question and response take place several times in the Cold War era film, Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks.
This guy’s response to the attorney’s question struck me. In fact, I laughed out loud in astonishment.
I mean, come on. His head is pretty much on the chopping block and he has the wits to say, “worrying about the situation isn’t going to help my cause, so why bother.”
We encounter a variety of obstacles, challenges, setbacks on a daily basis – most far less ominous than the spy’s – and yet we get bent out of shape, break into a cold sweat or mentally check out. But what good does it do?
I was at a seminar recently and the presenter was talking about the importance of being mindful of our response when we find ourselves in a tricky situation.
He said, “the space between the situation and our response can be either heaven or hell.” He attributed it to someone, but I cannot recall the person’s name. Regardless, it is pretty friggin profound.
The space between the obstacle and our response can propel us forward, or it can do the opposite.
So, perhaps we should ask similar questions when we begin to worry:
Will worrying accomplish anything?
Will worrying about an obstacle move me closer to overcoming it?
Will worrying move me further into my future or keep me stuck in the past?
What are tips and tricks you use to overcome doubt, worry, fear?