Our nephew, an enlisted man in the Army, is heading to a dangerous part of the world for a second tour of duty. His parents and the rest of our family are justifiably concerned for his safety. A businessman watches carefully as a strong competitor opens a business two blocks down the street. Grandma is going to the doctor for her health check-up next week and she is apprehensive about what may be found.
Each scenario is an occasion for worry.
If my nephew’s parents spend an inordinate amount of time and energy conjuring up all the possible bad things that could happen to their son, they would never sleep because the possibilities for bad things to happen are endless.
If the businessman sits and stews about how the competition will cause him to lose his business, he’ll probably lose his house, then his wife will divorce him, then his kids will think him a failure, and worse of all, his mother back in Des Moines won’t let him come home! In the meantime, he won’t have any time to think about the positive things he could do right now to solidify his customer base, expand his product lines, revitalize his marketing, etc.
And Grandma, now in her mid 80’s; imagine all the things that could be wrong with here! She probably has all the latest information about some dreaded disease that her neighbor died of a couple of months ago and now what if she gets it? She could worry herself right into a whole variety of ailments.
These are all examples of the negative self-talk that distracts the mind from focusing on the real problems at hand. Worry is the archenemy of the imagination. You must take those negative worrying thoughts that enter your mind, and change them into problem solving thoughts that will result in a creative solution. You must deny worry a resting place in your soul.
What’s important is what you can do today about the problems you face today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow’s not yet here. Today is what you have to deal with and worry doesn’t get anything done.
The next time your mind begins to imagine all the bad things that could possibly happen, take that negative energy and put it to work to solve problems. You will be surprised at how much can be accomplished once the paralysis of worry and fear is crushed.
And once you’ve done what you can do, take your stand. Things will happen the way they will happen whether you worry about them or not.
Leo Buscaglia said, “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow it only saps today of its joy.”
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