Wednesday, June 21, 2006


"What's the use of worrying? It never was worthwhile." - by George Asaf, O Magazine, October 2002

One of the best quotes to illustrates the worthlessness of worrying goes like this -"worrying about a problem is like trying to solve an algebraic equation by chewing on the pencil."

Another great quote which highlights how expensive worrying goes like this -"worry is like paying interest on a loan that you never took."

Does worrying solve any problem? Not mere worrying. Little bit of initial worrying about the enormity of a new challenge is normal. But, worrying about uncertainties and all probable consequences is not useful at all. Hurry, worry and curry is a deadly combination. Fire burns a dead body. Worry burns a living body.

One of the best ways to deal with worry is to set up a worry register and worry time. Worry register can be a simple notebook that you can carry with you all the time. Size does not matter.

Whenever a worry strikes you, do this. First do not dwell much on it. All that you should spend is to develop as clear understanding as possible about the worry. Impose say 5 minutes limitation on the act of developing the definition of the worry. Once you do that capture your worry in 2-3 sentences. If you like, put date, time and write briefly the state of your mind. Then try as hard as possible not worry. If you can not stop worrying, start documenting worries about the worry not worried. You should stop writing only when you realize that writing about worries is no fun or less painful than to worry..

Then, set up a fixed 'worry time'. 1 hour per week is optimal. But, in the beginning it is just not possible to stay away from worrying that long. If it helps, set up 15 minutes per day to begin with. During the appoint 'worry time', you go thru your notebook and review every worry that has not been dealt with.

Take one worry at a time and see if it is still applicable. It is impossible that you would laugh at yourself for having worried about something that is no longer a worry at all. With practice a lot of worries vanish this way. Cross each such proudly with a red marker to symbolize the ceremonial slaying of the worry. This ritual helps and fun. This not necessary but if it helps, go for it.

To get best results, your "worry time" should be as spaced out as possible. This is because in a week's time a lot of things change. A lot of new facts emerge which change the definition of the worry. This will help you to address the problem. You will be able to crystallize a better definition of the worry. Don't they say "problem well stated is problem half solved"? This also applies to worries. When you can really put you finger on what exactly worries you and are able to phrase it, solutions naturally emerge. It takes good amount of work by your subconscious mind to mull over the worry to hint a solution. Let the subconscious do it for you and you stay away from worries.

Always carry the worry book, promptly record worries, limit worrying to worry time, promptly slay worries, plan responses for worries which have become clearer. This is a good framework to manage worries.

Of course, we all have to mature to realize that there are something about which worrying or doing anything does not help. "If there is a solution, find it. If three is not one, then do not mind it." "Grant me the will and courage to change things that I can. Grant me patience and fortitude to put up with things that I can not change. Grant me the wisdom to know the difference between the two and act accordingly." (May not be exact wordings but close enough)

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