Most of us realize that worry is counterproductive, though we do it anyway. But what does it do for us? The late motivational speaker Earl Nightingale wrote, many years ago: “Worry is like a dense fog that can cloud our vision, knock our perspective out of kilter, and slow us down.” Nightingale categorized our common worries as follows:
- Here’s an authoritative estimate of what most people worry about. Earl Nightingale
- Things that never happen: 40 percent. That is, 40 percent of the things you worry about will never occur anyway.
- Things over and past that can’t be changed by all the worry in the world: 30 percent.
- Needless worries about our health: 12 percent.
- Petty, miscellaneous worries: 10 percent.
- Real, legitimate worries: 8 percent. Only 8 percent of your worries are worth concerning yourself about. Ninety-two percent are pure fog with no substance at all.
I’ve learned that there are things that are “controllable” and things that are not.
What we do have control over, however, are things like our diet, our exercise, our attitude, the way we treat others, the value we provide the marketplace, and our faith; those are the “controllables.”
Far too many people spend way too much time worrying about the uncontrollables… the things they can’t change.
Remember, only 8 percent of our worries are real and legitimate and worth being concerned about.