Can you imagine spending $525,600 on a device that lets you know if a meteor is going to crash into your head? That would be ridiculous, right? Why would someone spend that kind of money on an event that will most likely never occur?
We do the very same thing whenever we worry about something that is out of our control. Check out these numbers that illustrate the high cost of worrying:
- 1 day spent worrying costs 1,440 minutes of your life
- 1 month of worrying costs 43,200 minutes of your life
- 1 year of worrying costs 525,600 minutes of your life
That’s staggering! Those numbers represent the price we pay to worry about something we can’t control instead of using that time for positive thinking, planning, relationship building, or personal growth and development. The price of unproductive worry is indeed high!
So what can we do if we find ourselves tempted to start worrying about something that is out of our control? The following steps offer timeless guidance on this topic:
First, determine the worst case scenario and prepare to accept it. This is great advice Dale Carnegie wrote about on the topic of worry. It is helpful to consider the worst case scenario because once you know what it is; you have a framework from which to begin problem solving.
Next, create a plan to improve on the worst case scenario. Are there any corrective or preventative steps you can take to improve the worst case scenario? If so, take those steps immediately.
Finally, stop worrying about it, fill your mind with positive encouraging content, and go live your life and. If you’ve accepted the possibility of the worst case scenario and have done all you can do to influence it, then there’s nothing more you can do. This is the point to stop worrying, because it no longer serves a purpose. Instead of worrying, spend that time filling your mind with positive encouraging words to help improve your outlook. It may be talking to encouraging people or listening to positive music or reading something positive. I specifically like reading the Psalms to help alleviate worry, as there is always one that is relevant to my specific concern.
Here’s another thought to consider when you begin to worry. According to Earl Nightingale, only 8% of what we worry about are legitimate worries! The other 92% are what he calls, “[…]pure fog with no substance at all.”
Do we really want to spend 525,600 minutes a year worrying, especially when most worries are beyond our control or unlikely to occur? When confronted with worry, take a moment and realize how costly worry can be in wasted minutes. Minutes that could be spent on more personally profitable endeavors and can never be reclaimed once spent.