“It’s just life.”

As is my nature to fill any free time with stress or paranoia, I have been killing myself the last week or so, agonizing over my decision. (Which I will do a big post on later, but for now, is unimportant) I thought I was on track until I hit requisite Resistance and started the slide. The flood of emotions, the details, the considerations, obligations and promises…

“It’s just life.”

Why am I killing myself over it? Breathe. It hit me as I pulled into the parking space and a wave of calm had washed over me by the time I’d turned off the ignition. Isn’t it made to be lived? Aren’t we supposed to make big calls? And aren’t some of them supposed to fail and others succeed? Either way, this is what I am supposed to do. That is, weigh the evidence, make a decision and trust that it will be OK. What if it’s not–well, it is surely not going to kill me. I know that success requires total commitment and I have never had a problem throwing myself into things. But let’s just say I–or you–make the wrong choice. So?

It’s ironic too that the younger you are, the more important, more urgent, these things seem to be. They take on an aura of seriousness that rivals life and death–“Hey, my whole future is at stake here.” Jesus Christ. I catch myself doing this all the time. Let’s say I live to 70, that’s a solid 50 years left. I can’t even fathom that long. There is so very, very little that you cannot undo in that time, that you can’t turn into an overall positive. Some investments take a long time to pay off. Just as many pay out instantly–beyond your comprehension. Sometimes, you carry a loss to lower the taxes on a gain. What does it matter? If youth is not the time for calculated risk and big plans, what time is? It would be impossible to think that you would never have to screw up, and greedy to think you deserve to insulate yourself from that process well after you’re ready to deal with it. This is not excuse for failure but a certain kind of freedom. It’s the basis behind the “Relax, it’s going to be fine,” and the “Just let it rides.” The point is this: The very worst that can happen is that you fuck up, have to start over a little, and ultimately learn from it. The rest is just logistics. The rest is just logistics. And is being obsessed with logistics anyway to live?

I can tell you with emphatic certainty–at 20–that it is not. It is miserable. It will drive you into depression and anger and fear. Each worry you cut from your life increases happiness. Simple as that. And the younger you are, the less you should worry about. Listen, learn, consider, execute, evaluate and start it over again. You, I, have even less of an excuse for self-importance and reluctance than those with families, and careers, and mortgages at stake.

Remember, it’s just life. As cliche as it sounds, it’s meant to be lived. It’s meant to be enjoyed and it is designed around taking chances. Stress, worry, obsession, second-guessing, these are just impediments and crutches that take from you. Excise them as you would a cancer or a bad friend and wake up each morning with a lighter load and less-heavy heart. I woke up that way today and I plan to do it tomorrow.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.