Kicking the Worry Habit
By Michael Angier
I grew up on a Vermont farm. After college I bought a farm of my own
and operated it for several years. You might be interested to know that I
learned the secret to making a small fortune in farming. It's kind of
inside information and I don't pass it around to just anybody. Ready? Here
it is: In farming, start out with a large fortune, and sooner or later,
you'll have a small fortune.
Farmers don't lead easy lives. The work is hard and the risks are
great. They're dependent on the weather and many other things outside of
I used to worry all the time. I worried about livestock disease. I
worried about getting bank loans. I worried about the buying price of
grain and the selling prices of livestock. I worried about not having
enough money. I was unhappy, fatigued and irritable. It had become a
And then I read Dale Carnegie's classic, "How to Stop Worrying and
Start Living". In doing so, I realized that I was making myself sick
with worry and that I could pay a very heavy price. Reading that book may
have saved my life.
I came to the awareness that worry was like prayer in reverse. When we
worry and fret over things, we make them bigger than they really are, as
well as attract what we're fussing over. It's proof positive of the
principle of visualization …only in a negative way. It's contrary
prayer-prayer in reverse.
Somehow, I had it wired up that worry was actually virtuous. I guess I
figured that I wasn't being a good parent unless I worried about my kids.
I thought I was being irresponsible if I wasn't worrying about my business
and my finances. Not so.
It took me over a year to kick the worry habit. It wasn't easy. It took
daily diligence to eradicate it from my life. I occasionally slip back
into worry for brief periods, but I don't stay with it. It no longer runs
Worry is not our friend. It's our enemy. Jim Rohn says, "Worry is
like an economic cancer. And if continued, it will haul you off into a
financial desert where you will choke on the dust of your own
regrets." How's that for a vivid picture?
Most of the things we worry about are things over which we have little
or no control. If we think about it, it's stupid. Agonizing about what
might occur and about things we can't control gives our power away.
Thankfully, most of what we worry about never occurs. The French
philosopher Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, wrote in the 1500's, "My life
has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never
What do YOU worry about? In my research, I've found most people are
excellent worriers. They worry about illness, lack of money, old age,
taxes, the next generation … you name it! They burn up their energy,
lower their resistance to illness and actually draw to them what they
fear. Like Job in the Bible, "That which I have feared has come upon
Our hospitals and cemeteries are filled with people who made worry an
everyday companion. Don't be one of them. If you suffer from this
affliction, you need to cure yourself.
The biggest lever for change is to be aware of what we're doing and
realize how detrimental it is to our lives. If you find yourself upset or
anxious, check to see if you're worrying. If so, focus on what you WANT
rather than what you DON'T want. You can't STOP worrying. You have to
START thinking about desired results … something good instead of
something bad. Start working on the solution rather than a possible
By doing so, you'll be healthier, live longer, have more fun and
produce more of what you want.
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