How to Stop Worrying

Ask yourself, "What is the worst possible thing that can happen?" "What are the chances that this will occur?" "What can I do to reduce the risk of this happening?" "What is the problem?" "What is the CAUSE of the problem?" "Do I have all the facts I need to make a decision?" "What are the possible solutions to the problem?" "What is the best solution?"

If you have to make a decision about an important matter, it is useful to write down the problem and the possible solutions. List the possible solutions as #1, #2, etc. Don't worry about the order at this time. It is best to compare only 2 choices at a time: compare #1 with #2 and place a check mark next to the better solution and then compare #1 and #3. Continue until you have compared the last item with the next-to-the-last item. An example is shown below:

Problem: Not enough money to send your 17-year-old child to a prestigious private college next year
Cause: Poor performance of investments and low interest rate on CDs
Possible solutions:
1) Rob a bank.
2) Postpone college by one year to allow savings to grow and child to earn money.
3) Attend state university for 1-2 years and then transfer.
4) Forget college altogether.

If it is an important decision, sleep on it. If the decision still seems to be a good one, act. If the decision no longer appears to be a good decision, see if combining the best solutions is possible, or get advice from an expert. Don't ruminate or obsess. Strive to make good decisions with the information you have at hand, and don't blame yourself for not selecting the absolute best solution. It is important to remember that even the most brilliant people select the best solution only 40% of the time.

Disraeli said: "Life is too short to be little." Don't waste valuable energy worrying about things that are unimportant or are unlikely to ever happen. And don't saw sawdust or cry over spilt milk. Don't resent what can't be changed.