Worry and Choice

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen.  Keep in the sunlight.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Talking somebody down from the wall of worry is not an easy task. To do so you must deftly skirt accusations like “you just don’t understand” and “you’re not hearing me” while reassuring, distracting and refocusing attention on what can be done here and now.

Troubles are fed by the attention you pay to them. Wise is the person who understands the scope of his problems without succumbing to the temptation to fixate on them. Problems are resolved with solutions, not worries.

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.” ~ Mark Twain

One of the silliest things you can worry about are those things which you have no control over or any means of influencing. They are what they are and stressing about them will only drain the very battery you will draw upon to handle the challenges that pass through your sphere of influence.

If you have a list of worries, take the time to cross out those about which you can do nothing. Next to those crossed out write something you can handle or influence as things are now. You can either spend time worrying or moving in a productive direction. The choice is yours.

“You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.” ~ Pat Schroeder

10 thoughts on “Worry and Choice

  1. Colin

    I always figured that if I’m worried about something, I take a moment and make sure I’m reasonably prepared for the issue. Anything more than that takes away from the rest of your life. If you put your life on hold to worry or fixate on an issue, you remove the very catalyst that might have found you a solution: living! A little movement down life’s road might give you the solution to your problem, or at least some perspective so that it doesn’t fill your whole screen.


  2. Aimee

    Instead of worrying why not DSFSQ. Better to be on the giving end of that than the end where someone else is having to talk you down. Great post!


  3. Kimberly

    Having been an avowed worrier my whole life I can say with out a doubt it is a colossal waste of a perfectly good life. My Dad was a worrier and being a kid I used to think to myself what did he have to worry about? When I became an adult I realized his life, like all of us, was constantly in a state of change and he was always quietly dreading the future. I realize now I have always been a worrier and most of it is habit. It is the way change is greeted (even when you’re hoping for it). I was always willing to take a risk but the worry was still there.
    I have made a deliberate effort to be mindful of not letting this “habit” dictate my life and I have seen such a change in my life. What has changed is I’m not always short circuiting my heart.
    Wonderful discussion!


  4. DeeDee

    Your suggestions in the last paragraph are priceless. I think of how many times I’ve wasted valuable time being frozen in the jaws of worry when I could have been making progress elsewhere. There is always something to be done to make progress in our world. A practical list keeps things moving forward. Advice worth putting into practice – thanks!


  5. Kai Newell

    Great quotes and points! I especially like what Ben Franklin says about keeping the sunlight in. It’s a good visual to remember. Have a wonderful weekend!


  6. Joshua

    So true that, that which you give your attention has a specific way of expanding…..but this priciple, once understood can be used to our greatest advantage!
    “What has your heart has you” And we have the specific choice in each moment, as to what that is, ie practical reality or more illusions.
    Thanks Gregg!
    With you on this, and will certainly refocus those energies to something productive that would otherwise fuel the worries!


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