We’ve all experienced a summer evening outside ruined by relentless mosquitos. Eventually we realize that no amount of swatting will stop the onslaught, and that we’ll die of exhaustion before we ever smash enough to make a difference. We quickly find the price of sitting still is a fight that never ends.
On the other hand, runners don’t have to worry about mosquitos. Mosquitos have a pathetic top speed of 1.5 mph; runners simply move too quickly to be caught. Even walking with purposeful speed can keep us ahead of the bloodsuckers.
I have found that the same is true of life. When we stop moving toward our dreams and values, and do only enough to survive, worries and fears descend on us. We sleep in, drag ourselves through work, go home in exhaustion and spend the rest of the night in front of a screen, hoping it will distract us from the reality of the next day. We begin to dread our lives. We begin to fear even little things like eye contact with strangers. The mosquitos of inaction suck the energy out of us, and often our confidence and hope too.
When our problems are buzzing thick around us, we can feel trapped and powerless. But all that we need to do in those moments is get moving. Just by having a goal and moving toward it we can avoid having the life sucked out of us by a thousand tiny worries. The mosquitos of inaction cannot catch us when we pursue our dreams. While we can never fully escape problems in life, we can upgrade them for better ones. The problems of inaction stagnate and stall us, but the better problems of progression help to push us forward. Those better problems are opportunities to grow and gain greater happiness.
About the Author Kenneth Jeppesen is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies from Weber State University, and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Kenneth is a therapist at the Provo Center for Couples & Families.