Worry is worthless

Worry is a terrible strategy, but for a long time it was the only one I knew.

Now, I consider this a safe place, so don’t judge me when I tell you a little story.S00604 Worry As A Strategy

For years, when I would send in the sketch that goes with my column for the New York Times, I would worry my editor was going to email me back, 

one-page-financial

This says a lot about the power of the impostor syndrome which we can talk about another day, but the point today is that WORRYING didn’t help ANYTHING!

I would bring my worries to my business partner (also known as my wife.)

I would go on and on about “What if….” And when she seemed annoyingly calm, I would say, “Aren’t you worried?!”

She would simply say, “I could be worried if you want me to, but I don’t see how it would help.”

It might feel like worrying helps.

But as Shantideva said:

“If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? Business Patient

If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?”

I’m going to resist the temptation to offer suggestions.

I have found stuff that works for me, but I’d love to learn what works for you.

When you find yourself in a cycle of needless worry, what do you do to snap out of it?

Leave a comment below and tell me your story.

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Carl Richards

About

Carl Richards is a Certified Financial Planner and a columnist for the New York Times, Morningstar magazine and Yahoo Finance. He is author of 2 books, The Behavior Gap & The One-Page Financial Plan. Carl lives with his family in Park City, Utah. You can find his work and sign up for his newsletter (which has an international audience) at www.behaviorgap.com/


'Worry is worthless' have 3 comments

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    October 2, 2019 George Plumber

    Worrying about the future or even the past won’t change anything. Since worrying is a waste of our imagination.

    Reply

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    September 28, 2019 Jason Bishop

    Hi Carl, thanks for all the insightful words. I find laying idle perpetuates my worry. I go for a walk in nature to help freshen up my perspective (I go for a lot of walks haha) thereby helping me determine the best course of action and more importantly, whether or not what I’m worrying about is within my capacity to change or if it’s better to just move on. What techniques do you use Carl?

    Reply


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