I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.
― Mark Twain
Some folks seem to be blessedly care-free. They never seem to worry. Many, though, find themselves anxious and unsettled on a regular basis.
A coaching client of mine recently shared with me her worry. Her young daughter had a run-in with Leukemia. Now in complete remission, the daughter radiates health and happiness. The likelihood that she’ll live to a ripe old age is extremely high. Yet, my client says, “I can’t stop worrying that it (the disease) will come back. I want to enjoy every moment of the day. But I don’t know how.”
She worries too about animals getting hit by cars. (Hey, who am I to judge. I have my own fairly random list.)
Of course, as a coach, and as a Professional (Certifiable) Worrier, I had some pithy thoughts to share with her on the topic of worry. Here’s what I said:
1. You were raised in a household of worriers. How has that worked out for them? What catastrophes has worry prevented?
2. Worry is a habit; like biting your nails. With just a bit of mindfulness and effort, a habit can be broken and re-programed. Break the habit.
3. Worry is a waste; there is absolutely no return on investment for the time; it yields no outcome; so you literally piss away the time. Do you like to piss away time?
4. The chances of something extraordinarily good happening in any moment are just as high (or low) as the chances of something extraordinarily bad. You can focus on either. Why not choose to focus on the good?
5. You usurp the province of the Divine when you believe that your worry somehow controls the outcome in the Universe. Do you really want that job too?
6. The shit that actually befalls you (or someone you love) is almost never the shit you worry about. Maybe you should worry about that as well?
7. Worry is a choice. You can choose to worry. Or not. Not is better.
Here’s the truth: You’re gonna die; your parents are gonna die; your kids are gonna die; there will be wars and famine; there will be dead racoons in the road; there will be ups and down in the economy; and really unpleasant weather.
Life is way short. Choose well. Focus on the good.
Live, laugh, love, celebrate.
Don’t waste a minute of it.
This is an encore of a post first published on June 14, 2012