Turning worry into constructive action (DW #946)

When we are worried or concerned about something, it is natural to want to solve the problem. We focus all our energies on trying to think of ways we can make the problem go away.

Now, most big problems are not that easily solved. And when our minds are consumed with the enormity of it, it can be challenging to come up with an action plan that will make the problem go away completely.

Steve Chandler in Time Warrior has some great advice for times like this:

"Replace worry with action. Don’t worry. Or rather, don’t just worry. Let worry change into action. When you find yourself worrying about something, ask yourself the action question, "What can I do about this right now?"

And then do something. Anything. Any small thing".

This is hugely powerful. Really. Please try it.

Are you worried about something right now?

Do a quick check in to see what part of this problem is in your circle of control.

"The next time you’re worried about something, ask yourself, "What small thing can I do right now?" Then do it. Remember not to ask, "What could I possibly do to make this whole thing go away?" That question does not get you into action at all."

Here is Chandler’s simple system to help us do this:  "I once came up with a system for action that helped turn my worrying habits completely around. I would list the five things that I was worried about-perhaps they were four projects at work and the fifth was my son’s trouble he was having with a certain teacher. I would then decide to spend five minutes on each problem doing something, anything. By deciding this, I knew I was committing myself to 25 minutes of activity. No more. So it didn’t feel at all overwhelming."

Can you imagine how much progress we would make in all areas of worry and concern if we spent 5 minutes a day taking action on everything that worried us?

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