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Worry Is a Misuse of the Imagination

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I am an old man and have known many troubles, most of which never happened. —Mark Twain


Over the years I have coached many good friends and clients to make one simple change that immediately improved the quality of their lives and their work—and you can make the same change right here and now:

All you have to do is make a conscious decision to stop worrying about what you don’t want to have happen, and start focusing on what you do want to happen. Do that for a week, and I promise you that the result will convince you to make it a lifetime habit.

A good friend of mine—Dan Zadra of Zadra Creative—likes to say that “worry is a misuse of the imagination.” It’s true. Worry is a form of negative visualization. It’s using one of your most precious powers in life—the power of your imagination—to conjure up all kinds of potential problems that will almost certainly never materialize.

Here’s a little exercise I give my clients: Make a list of the things you were worrying about last week, last month, last year, and five years ago. How many of those worries actually came to pass? Very few. In fact, it’s been estimated that ninety-nine percent of the things we worry about on a day-to-day basis never even happen. Most of our worries are empty balloons, so why inflate them?

Every minute of every day your mind can focus on worry, fear, pessimism and possible failure, or it can focus on opportunity, confidence, optimism and eventual success. The best part is, you get to choose. Choose wisely. Worry less, and live more.

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