Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why Worry?

For a guy that came from a family that didn’t value worrying… I am pretty good at it. My mom had no- and I repeat no worries in the world. Her personal philosophy of life was “Whatever bees, bees”. It was so frustrating at times when I couldn’t get my own mom to worry with me about my “Big” worries that I thought she might be absolutely clueless. My Dad wasn’t too far away on the worry scale. His coaching was “If I thought worrying would help, I would encourage you to do more, son”. “Life is round” he would say. “It goes up and down, and that’s just the way it is.”

So how did I become such an expert on worrying? For me there is good worrying and bad worrying. I guess being an overachiever with aspirations off the chart drives me to carefully analyze issues. I am always looking for the right answers to my questions and find myself constantly risk managing decisions. This is where good worrying enters. It motivates me. When I work harder to succeed, when I am truly aware of controlling my emotional worry, when I move forward with unyielding determination and focus… I successfully get out of my way and leave my comfort zone. Worrying drives me with a sense of urgency.

I lead by creating change; I achieve by positive action; I am fulfilled by having a sense of purpose.

So what’s the big “Secret of Life” here?

Write down what you are worrying about. List your worries large and small and track them for a year. My prediction is that none of those important worries from a year ago will be on your mind a year later. Whatever we are worrying about today is the most important thing in our life but where will these worries be a year from now? 99%of these worries will never happen.

We need confidence… better yet faith, that what we finish will turn out OK. My personal experience is more extreme. From the worst experiences in my life, from my deepest despair and worry, the very best results have ultimately prevailed. Repeatedly, life has turned out better than I have planned, better than I have worried.

What is unhealthy is to feel sorry for ourselves when our lives are turned upside down. Instead we need to confront our anxiety, fear, worry, and initiate action to meet the bumps in the road. In April of 2009, at one of the most challenging moments in my business career, I spoke intimately with two of my trusted advisors. I said to one, “K, I am worried about the business” and he replied, “Create Plan ‘B’”. Simple and direct. Stop worrying and take action.

My other advisor met me for lunch and when he recognized my sorry state of worry we proceeded to drink large quantities of wine. At the end of lunch “B” said to me, “This is just a giant, deep pothole in your journey... Look beyond this pothole in the road… You have to see that you will come out the other side.”

Exactly one year later (2010) all of those insurmountable worries were not on the list. Quiet the mind, take action, and have faith that whatever action we complete, whatever responsibility we fulfill will turn out better than we could have planned.

So, why worry?


  1. Glenn,
    I have been reading your blog off and on the last few weeks; thank you for sharing your secrets.
    Todays post was good medicine for me. I will now take action!
    Ford S.

  2. Thanks Ford, lots more to come!

  3. This is great Glenn, as a major worrier, it makes sense!