Quote of the week 12: Worried about the future? Here’s a proven strategy that will help you

Stress and worry affect most of us. They have massivve negative effects on our health and well-being. A well-known strategy is to so focus on today, that tomorrow’s worries are left for tomorrow, and yesterday’s worries are history that cannot be changed. We were never designed to live more than one day at a time. Find inner peace by living more and more in the only time we actually have: NOW.


We’ve heard it a thousand times. “Live for the Day”; “Be mindful, live in the moment”: “Take no thought for tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” you say, “all very well. But I’ve a thousand things that I desperately need to do today. And yes, they are important, very important! No wonder I’m worried sick.”

Do you have a busy life juggling  “a thousand things to do today”?

Why not sit down and prioritize. What tasks simply must be done today, and which have fewer negative consequences if left until tomorrow.

Then gently start, and calmly pick them off one by one, moment by moment. Forget the tasks just done, and don’t even think about those waiting to be done. Focus on NOW, ONE task at a time. Peace is your reward.

May I recommend Dale Carnegie’s classic masterpiece on worry? It’s called “How to stop worrying and start living.”

I love this simple 3-step strategy Carnegie calls the “magic formula.”

  1. Face the worst. Ask yourself, “what is the worst thing that could possibly happen?”
  2. Take it on board. Accept the reality of that possibility.
  3. Look for answers.  Calmly work out how to improve that worst case scenario.

I”m not pretending that it will be easy. But it’s far better to be realistic, even if it seems like a disaster is looming. There is always something that you can salvage. Many famous people have found that when they’re at rock bottom, then “the only way forward now is UP” makes a lot of sense.

In following this 3-step strategy, the mind begins to settle, you stop going round and round in mad little circles. You recover your power to think straight. Once you’ve got your thinking cap on again, you begin to see how you can begin to make things better.

The worry begins to subside, peace begins to flood your soul, and new options, new possibilities, new highways begin to emerge from deep within.

The Hourglass metaphor

Another brilliant time and motion comparison Carnegie uses is the hourglass. Our time is like the slow steady flow of grains of sand through the neck of the hourglass. These grains can’t be rushed. They give the appearance that they won’t all get through. Yet the non-stop, peaceful, steady flow of sand, grain by grain, fulfills the expectation.

We should use our time each day like that. Slow, peaceful, leisurely progress, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour. Never forget the old cliche “More haste less speed.”

I’m reminded of a time and motion study I read about years ago. It was about a small team of men working hard all day to load a truck. The researcher instructed them, moment by moment, what to do, alternating work and rest intervals:

“Lift,” “Now rest;” “Lift,” Now rest.”

They were instructed to work only for as long as it was comfortable. Then they rested before they became tired, and therefore less effective.

The results were staggering. The men never got tired, much less exhausted. They managed to load about four times more cargo than previously. It was an extraordinay demonstration of the wisdom of working “smart” rather than “hard.”

Like that sand in the hourglass, they achieved the optimum flow by slow, steady, peaceful, yet on-going work. The past was past, the future was future. Being in the moment was the complete focus.

Worry, stress and fear are killers.

There are countless other proven strategies to conquer these killers of our life. Strategies for you. Discover them, believe them, try them, and find lasting peace and happiness.

And as an added extra, Success!

May I wish you true success in life.

Gerry McCann


P.S.   I’d love to hear how you have coped with worry; please share with us your comments.

P.P.S  Feel free to share this post with a friend.

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