“Are you making yourself old again?” I heard Tori’s friend say to her from behind me as we headed off to dance class.
I had never heard the phrase before, but I immediately understood what she meant. She was referring to the scrunched look on Tori’s face which was a result of the unusually rough time that just occurred at home as I had to continuously poke and prod her to get dinner eaten, dressed, and out the door on time for class.
The wrinkles on her face made her look old.
But even more than just making her look old the wrinkles weren’t serving any purpose. They were simply a showing of emotion reflecting her feelings of a situation that was over. They weren’t helping her resolve anything, nor were they helping her accomplish anything productive.
It reminded me of the times I would lay in bed staring at the ceiling worrying about how I was going to juggle things around to make sure we would have enough funds to make it to the next payday. Did losing sleep and making my stomach turn by worrying make anything better? What did it help me accomplish?
Not a damn thing.
Worrying didn’t improve my finances. It didn’t help me improve my communication with my wife, nor did it help us change our spending habits to live within our means. It certainly didn’t make a budget and spending plan magically appear out of thin air.
I had to take action to make those things happen.
I once heard a motivational speech in which the speaker stated that in almost all cases we know exactly what we need to do to be successful. We fail simply because we do not execute. That was the exact situation that I was in. I didn’t take action until I was forced to, but once I did life immediately began to improve. Now, gone are those sleepless nights and those stomach turns. They have been replaced with financial discussions and teamwork with my wife.
Let me ask you a few questions:
- Are you struggling with debt, or some other challenge in life?
- Is it eating at you, worrying you constantly, and causing you to lose sleep?
- Are you scrunching your face, unnecessarily making you old?
- Is it doing you any good?
Exactly like my daughter’s scrunched up face, worrying is simply an emotional reflection of the situation. It’s not helping you move along the path to making things better. When I was young, and I would make that grumpy, scrunched up face my mom would tell me that if I kept making that face it would stay that way. If you are stressed out, struggling, worrying and you don’t take any action, your life is going to stay that way.
At the same time, worrying can be a good catalyst for action as long as it isn’t crippling!
True, Mike – as long as action is taken! Worrying by itself is a waste of time and energy. If it’s worth worrying about, it’s worth getting up off our behinds and DOING something about it!
I’m preparing my own post for this week, and I’ll be touching upon worry too. In reducing debt, I’ve come to realize that I don’t like the expression, “Don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff.” The message seems to be, “Don’t worry,” but it isn’t. Like you, I believe that worry is a negative thing, but dealing with the details is a very positive thing – and it requires “sweating the small stuff.” Being too easy-going can lead to more trouble – whether in debt or something else. A steady vigilance and attention to minutiae actually gives freedom from problems – and from worry.
Very nicely put, Prudence. Worry by itself (as stated above) is simply a waste of time. Worrying should be an indication that you need to DO something. Instead of expending the energy to worry about something, take action, and get things moving in the right direction towards making things better.
As always, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts!
Worrying is, in some way, a good thing. It prompts me to take action. I want my worry to be over so I do what I can to solve my problems. That’s the thing, I don’t just sit around and worry. I make things happen.
Exactly, KC….worry is a symptom – not a solution. We have to find that solution and make it a reality!
Love this, Travis. Our worry diminished the moment we had a plan in place, and continues to decrease with each step forward that we take. Action works – worry doesn’t!
A plan of action gives you a goal…something to work for. It also gives you the most important thing of all : Hope!
I used to worry daily about bills daily until I realized that it was getting me no where. You just need to set up a budget plan and execute it to get yourself out of debt. Spending all day worrying about your bills gets you no where fast.
I know that feeling, Zimmy – and it’s not just finances – it applies to pretty much everything!
aaaah to worry and do nothing is the biggest problem. I tend to worry but then I look for a way to fix the things that worry me if they can be fixed. One thing I had to understand is that their are something that are out of my control and no need to worry about. Worrying about things sometimes causes you to take action.
Exactly, Thomas! Here’s an example: Each year on Memorial Day weekend we host a little get together for friends and family. For the week leading up to the event my wife obsesses about the weather worrying about what will happen if it rains, or it’s too cold. What does worrying accomplish? Nothing. Instead, we need to simply check the weather forecast and have a plan to deal with a large number of people at our home if we need to be inside. Having the backup plan is key…..but that comes about by action, not by staring at the weather forecast worrying about it! Thanks for reading and commenting!
I love that quote “we know exactly what we need to do to be successful. We fail simply because we do not execute.” Worry is a bad habit to fall into, stay positive and take action..now.
I try to keep that phrase front and center in my mind at all times, Samantha – it’s SO valuable. It can be the difference between succeeding, and laying in bed curled up in a ball all day. Thanks for your comment!
I try not to worry about things I can’t control. Things I can control I can take a swing at and make a plan to tackle them.
Great perspective, Brent! My wife spends a huge amount of time worrying about things that she can’t control (like the weather on a date of a party). Hopefully we can get better at that together. Thanks for reading!