If ego is the voice that tells us we’re better than we really are, we can say that ego inhibits true success by preventing direct and honest connection to the world around us. – Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy, 3.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. – Paul, Romans 12:3 (NRSV)
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Jesus (Matthew 6:31-34)
Humans worry. There is no sense denying it.
Today you will worry. There is no sense denying that either.
Some of the things you worry about are in your control. If you are worried about your general health and fitness, you can choose to exercise and eat better. If you are worried that those closest to you don’t know how you feel about them, you can tell them.
Some of the things you worry about are not in your control. If you are worried because there is an accident on the freeway, and you will now be late for work, there is nothing you can do about it. If you worry about a poor choice you made in the past, you cannot go back and change it.
The key to a healthy life is knowing how to worry well. That begins with discerning what things are in your control and which ones are not. Worrying about what you cannot control is wasted energy. The truth is, worrying about what you can control is wasted energy, too. Far better to just do what you need to do to avoid what you wish to avoid.
Perhaps that is easier said than done, but there is still no escaping the doing part. The key to worrying well is actually living well. Jesus defines this as seeking first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness. Do all you can to live well and trust that God loves you and is at work as you do.
…the first and greatest test of the philosopher is to test and separate appearances, and to act on nothing that is untested. – Epictetus
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Paul (Romans 12:2, ESV)