What? Me Worry?

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“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

–     Corrie Ten Boom (1892 – 1983), Dutch watchmaker, hero and survivor of the Holocaust and Ravensbruck concentration camp

In my youth, Mad Magazine was one of my sister’s and my favorite distractions.  It’s cover character, Alfred E. Neuman, was famous for his impish, “What?  Me worry?” countenance and headline.

My mom was a world-class worrier.  She got it from her dad and my sister got it from her.  Worry knocks on my door (and probably yours) several times each day.

I’ve learned, at least most of the time, to not answer the door.

Because I’ve learned that Corrie Ten Boom is right.  It’s pointless.  It has no effect on the outcome of the thing we worry about, and it wrecks today, worrying about that thing it won’t impact.  Remember, this is the perspective of a woman who helped dozens, if not hundreds of Jews escape the Holocaust, before being arrested and interred at a concentration camp.  She really had plenty of opportunity to worry, and instead, she chose to keep today’s strength in today.

As business people we also have plenty of opportunity to worry.  The market might turn.  There might be a product recall.  As sales people, worry can be almost (key word, there, almost) standard-issue.  What if the deal doesn’t close?  What if they push back on price?  What if my commissions get cut?  What if I miss my quota?

Clarity is our best weapon against worry.  Asking better questions.  Knowing the trade-offs to come.  (“If we can handle that problem, Miss Jones, do we have a deal?) Building a solid plan and trusting that plan, then reassessing frequently and adjusting as new information presents itself.  Clarity leads to focus, focus leads to committed action and there’s no room for worry in that equation.

Worry is designed by the Enemy to distract us from good.  Worry turns active time to idle time.  Worry draws our attention to one or two “can’ts” in a sea of “cans.”

Let’s take a page from Alfred’s book….um…er….magazine.  “What?  Us worry?!”

 

 


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