Don’t Worry, Be Happy

by Lance Ekum on · 73 comments

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Don't worry, be happy.

How's that for a philosophy on life.  Four simple words, one profound statement.

This all started when we talked about fear a couple of weeks ago.  One thing that was a re-occurring theme was the idea behind fear and that it is oftentimes rooted in worry.  And, listening to this song – and the simple words and actions that go along with it – made me think about worry in our lives today.

Do you worry?  About your health?  About the safety of your children?  About your next paycheck?  About your relationships?  About your job?  I could go on and on.  Worry.  We, as a whole, can (and do) worry about pretty much everything.  The economy is struggling.  There is much unrest in many parts of the world.  Our streets are rich with crime.  Despite modern medical advances, sickness and disease still permeate our neighborhoods.  There's enough out there to keep us worrying constantly.  And that's without all of our own very personal and individual problems.

Some worry is hard to avoid.  Worrying about a spouse, a child, another loved one – for instance.  These are worries out of love.  These are difficult worries to overcome.  Because they are rooted in love.  Some worries, though, are just idle worries.

What, exactly, does worry get us?  Think about it for a minute.  What good comes from worry?  Idle worry. Superficial worry.  Worry without any action.  Does this do any good?  Does sitting around, worrying – will I have a job tomorrow – does that do you any good?  No.  Or how about worrying about – did I pass that test? – does that do any good?  No.  It only "…saps today of its joy.", as Leo Buscaglia says.

So, what do you choose today?  What do you choose the next time that "thing" arises that puts uncertainty into your life – and you are ready to retreat into your world of worry?  The choice is yours.  You can choose to worry.  Or.  Or you can choose to act.  To do something.

“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives.” ~ Maya Angelou

The inevitable.  Some things we just can't control.  So, aren't we better off pushing worry aside?  And living our lives.  There will be good in our lives.  And there will be some bad in our lives.  Worrying about any of this is not going to change this fact.  What can change these facts are actions, by us.

Today.  You have a choice.  You can choose to worry when life confronts you with it's challenges.  Or you can choose to live your life.  Taking care of what you do have control over.  Yourself.  Your actions.

What do you choose?

Don't worry, be happy…

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacey / Create a Balance November 18, 2008 at 9:33 am

First, listening to that song took me directly back to the late 80’s when I didn’t have a worry in the world.

Ironically, when I had my second son I started worrying less. Throughout my pregnancy, I continuously told myself “statistically, everything will be okay”…and I continue to this day to use this mantra over and over again.

Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..Risk Taking Can Set You Free


Marelisa November 18, 2008 at 9:34 am

Hi Lance: “In every life you have some trouble, when you worry you make it double.” That phrase from the song is so true: every time you think of something it’s practically as if you were living it. There’s another saying along the lines of “most of the things I worried about never came to pass”. I think it’s all related in to learning to live in the now: at this particular moment in time everything is fine.

Marelisa´s last blog post..Outliers – 10,000 Hours for Success


Kim November 18, 2008 at 9:45 am

I have learned over the years that if I can’t turn the worry into something productive, it just needs to go away. Productive worry spurs me into doing something about it – if I’m worried about my car breaking down, I take it in for a tune-up. Unproductive worry just paralyzes me.

Kim´s last blog post..7 Quick Takes Friday


monica November 18, 2008 at 10:17 am

I would also add that in addition to less worrying, we should do less complaining. I’ve noticed that I’VE been complaining a bit recently about certain things, and this post made me realize that all of my complaints are tied to WORRIES. But you’re right – most of these worries are things I can’t change. So what’s the fuss?! Now, everytime I feel like complaining, I need to stop myself and think of something POSITIVE to say about this situation. Cuz when I stand back and really look at life for what it is, things are pretty good!

monica´s last blog post..Exercise Your Inner Rebel


Vered - MomGrind November 18, 2008 at 10:46 am

I’m getting better. I used to do a lot more worrying. But I still worry about my kids.


Julie November 18, 2008 at 11:11 am

Great post, Lance! Something we can always be reminded of. Worrying only does one thing: keeps us crazy. Things will happen—or not—whether we worry, or not. Stepping back to look at the big picture (which is the same as seeing the very basics of things) does wonders to put things in perspective. You say it so well when you say “you can choose to live your life.” That’s it in a nutshell. Just live, and live it as happily as we can!

Julie´s last blog post..First Guest Post


Dot November 18, 2008 at 11:16 am

I’m with Vered – I’m better than I used to be. I’m not sure how far I want to go in the happy-go-lucky direction. Worrying feels like it’s keeping the focus on the problem, being responsible. Living in the moment and not worrying seems irresponsible somehow.


Davina November 18, 2008 at 11:34 am

Hi Lance. Worry comes and goes. Unfortunately it’s here now! 🙁 A friend sent me this quote this morning that is very appropriate… “Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death but to inspire yourself to life” Adele Brookman

Davina´s last blog post..Video — Preparation Inspires Self-Confidence


Maya November 18, 2008 at 11:48 am

I come from a family that would make millions if we were paid to worry 🙂
I have worked really really hard to get out of the worry habit. I have become a problem solver in the process 😉
The energy we spend worrying is just not worth it, it takes a lot less energy to just let go or do something about it. Worry is a bad bad habit!

Maya´s last blog post..Are you a storyteller? What is your story?


MizFit November 18, 2008 at 12:15 pm

amen, Brother. the worrying is praying for what you DONT WANT.

MizFit´s last blog post..Why MizFit shall never be on Top Chef.


Sara at On Simplicity November 18, 2008 at 1:25 pm

This made me think of my high school experience. Nothing extremely bad happened, but I remember still spending every day in a state of anxiety, worried that something bad might happen. I could’ve had a great deal more fun if I’d had the attitude that bad stuff will happen. You will be able to handle it when it arrives. Celebrate its absence in the meantime!

Sara at On Simplicity´s last blog post..Handling Feedback Elegantly and Easily


Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations November 18, 2008 at 1:46 pm

I used to spend a lot of time worrying in my teen and 20’s but it went away when I realized I had choices. It made me feel more in control. I know I CAN’T CONTROL the world, but I can control my response to it and I can choose to be happy.

THis was fun, Lance.

Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s last blog post..Are you Planning for the Fog?


Jennifer November 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm

What a great reminder Lance! I think I needed that reminder today – and the song to be stuck in my head. 🙂 90something % of what we worry about never happens. So why worry?

I love the passage from Matthew 6 about worry. One of the verses says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Really, can we?

And I do LOVE the quote. It truly does sap us of today’s joy. If we concentrate on worry we miss out on the blessings.

Thanks for this post, Lance!

Jennifer´s last blog post..A Source of Huge Frustration


rebecca November 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm

I stopped worrying about things I had no control over (and that is quite a lot!) many, many moons ago. My mind is at peace in this area. However, the ONE thing I have not been able to overcome in terms of worrying is when things concern my daughter and spouse. And, like you said, it is because it is rooted on love.

Worry, in general, is a useless emotion, much like fear. It gains you nothing, it is not of value. It is only of value when there is a serious issue for you to be concerned about. I don’t know if it is personality that allows you to become worry-free because though my husband and I read much on Buddhism/Zen and their stance on this subject, he, however, still worries. So, I suppose, a bit of one’s nature aids in this area.


Mark November 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm

A challenge indeed to control ones emotions. Maybe we can learn to use the momentum of an emotion towards good? Basically channel it towards a positive result? I think if we recognize where we are, our actions become more of reaction. Can we associate an emotion with an action i.e. an anchor?Example: If we were to pinch our finger each time we felt happy would we eventually have the ability to pinch our finger changing our mood towards happy? Okay I am rambling…sorry! 🙂


Annette November 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm

I have always loved that song 😉 Worrying NEVER makes it better! I place it in God’s hands when I have reached that point. I really believe everything……even bad……happens for a reason that we may never know until much later.

Annette´s last blog post..Happy 100 posts to me—Skipping the cake and ice cream 😉


meleah rebeccah November 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm

I know that worrying about things wont change the outcome of things, but I cant seem to NOT worry! I have always been one of those stereotypical worriers. I cant control it!

meleah rebeccah´s last blog post..He’s Growing Up Way Too Fast For Me…


Stacey Shipman November 18, 2008 at 4:05 pm

I say turn off the TV and get rid of distractions in order to feel free from worry. The media is enough to drive me crazy. That said, worry is future based, even worry about your spouse, kids, job. Worry is thought about the future and thoughts are not real. Guilt is just the opposite, holding on to the past for fear of the future…ah, like a messy web so easy to get tangled up in!

Guilt and worry are evil. In order to rid yourself of them (which I’m not sure is possible) you’ve got to practice living in the present, letting go of control of our need for control. That present moment is truly all we have.

Stacey Shipman´s last blog post..12 Positive Choices For a Monday Morning


Caroline November 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm

I wrote about this a few days ago…

What if something really awful happens to me or someone I love?” What do I do? To me it’s all about:

* Your reaction to the situation.
* Knowing there is nothing you cannot handle.
* Seeking the meaning and moving forward.

When “unexpected” things happen, we can choose to panic and feed the fear, or step back and choose to trust and be calm…knowing the universe will be there to lend us a hand.

Here is a great affirmation:

“I am free to experience joy in every moment…
no matter what is happening in my life.”

Fear is:


Caroline´s last blog post..Day 17 – Facing our Shadow


ru4real November 18, 2008 at 4:51 pm

You’re right … some worries are tough, because they are rooted in love. I love Maya Angelou’s advice to spend our time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives. I have to remind myself often that worry is time lost focusing on the negative. The Bible points to the very same thing when it asks, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27 NIV)


Natalia Burleson November 18, 2008 at 5:08 pm

I’m with you on that! The fear is ultimately belief that we won’t be able to handle what happens in our life! I used to worry so much that I had to say a mantra over and over in my head before I could go to sleep. I repeated over and over, “No matter what happens I will be able to handle it”! When I sit back and think about the wasted time spent worrying on things that never even happened and that I didn’t have control over any way…..YIKES!

Natalia Burleson´s last blog post..My back!


Blake November 18, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Thanks for the reminder. It is so true…worry doesn’t get us anywhere or change anything. Actions do. Thanks!

Blake´s last blog post..Highlights of School Nutrition Report


Audra Krell November 18, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Great post Lance. Worry can be just as addictive as cigarettes. Remember how people always say something like “for every cigarette you smoke, it takes a minute off your life”? It doesn’t seem like much, but add it all up and after years of smoking pack after pack, you’re gonna take several years off your life. I submit that after years of packs and packs of worrying, we will do the same thing to ourselves.
So, we absolutely have to kick the habit. I challenge people to try and quit worrying for one whole day. If it doesn’t work, you can always go back to it. It’ll be waiting right where you left it.

Audra Krell´s last blog post..Radio Interview & Free Pizza


Lance November 18, 2008 at 7:15 pm

@Stacey/Create A Balance – Yes, the ’80s, that was a good decade for me too! Each time we had another one of our children, we’ve seemed to worry less – maybe that’ll change when they get their driver’s licenses! Odds are…that’s a good philosophy – because when we think like that, we see things in the positive light – because odds are everything will be ok.

@Marelisa – I like that line too, and hadn’t really thought about it until now when you wrote it – and how true! Worry is like reliving it – doubling it up. Living in the now, being present in the moment – that’s all we can really control anyway. Not the past, not the future. The only thing we have for sure is this moment in time…

@Kim – I like that way of looking at it – productive vs. unproductive worry. Productive worry can be good, if we act upon it – your car example is a great one. And it’s all good (productive worry) only if we act…

@Monica – Worrying and complaining – two things that really can bring us down – great addition Monica. We do have a pretty good life – all of us here. Things could be much worse. For all of us. We have little to complain about, and not much to worry about either. Nice tie-in between the two, thank you!

@Vered – Kids…yes, they can cause us worry. I recall the time we lost our daughter (well, it happened a couple of times…) – that was definite worry – and even though it may not have been helping the situation – that is the kind of worry that is rooted in love – and that worry, no matter what you say, is going to be hard to shake…

@Julie – Thank you Julie! Yes, we have the choice…to worry and get dragged down by it. Or we can choose to live – and be present in all the moments of our lives. If we let worry consume us, we can become crazy! Crazy in that we get consumed by it, and it freezes us from really moving forward in our lives…

@Dot – That’s an interesting point Dot. Is there a line we cross, where we are too care-free and not concerned about what the future holds? Is that worry? Or something else? I see worry as excessive concern for someting out of our control. And that, we can work to eliminate. But if we look at worry as losing focus on a problem – then no, we don’t want to abandon worry.

@Davina – Say goodbye to it Davina. Focus on what you have some control over. I love the quote – thanks for sharing it!


Lance November 18, 2008 at 7:44 pm

@Maya – Ha! That’s funny (well, maybe not to your family)… I love that – eliminate worry by being a problem solver. We can worry, or we can do something about it. Tackle the problems we face head on! And if we can’t do anything, let go of it. This is all just great advice Maya – you have done well from where you came from!

@MizFit – Another great thought – they’re flowing here today! Praying for what you don’t want – it really becomes a focus on the “bad” – and that’s not good.

@Sara – Okay, high school, the adolescent period – has a way of bringing out worry. Worried about what we look like. Worried about what others think about us. Worried that we’re in with the wrong crowd. Worried about a test. You weren’t alone with your worries in high school! And yet, now when we all look back on these times – it was a lot of wasted time and energy. I love the idea of celebrating the absence of bad stuff – really take in the good! And then deal with the bad. And move on…

@Wendi – Like Sara! And probably most of us. We’re more self-conscious when we’re younger, more superficial (I was). I think you’ve nailed it so well saying that we can’t control the world, but we can control our response. And, hey, I’m glad you had fun with this Wendi! Worry and fun – not everyone would put those two together!!

@Jennifer – That song has been stuck in your head quite a bit recently, hasn’t it – you’ve got it into mine too! It’s a great message it sends out – don’t worry, be happy! And when we think about how often we worry, and for nothing – what a lot of wasted thoughts and energies. The verse from Matthew – a perfect addition to this Jennifer – we can’t add any time to our lives by worry. It only saps us of today’s joy. I love that quote too. This one just jumped out at me when I read it! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

@Rebecca – The whole idea of worry that is rooted in love – that’s one I have not overcome either. And I think that’s ok. Because it’s for a whole different reason that you have this worry. YOu bring another excellent point, too, Rebecca – the idea that people are all different. What I worry about might be trivial to you. An important point to remember.

@Mark – Ramble on Mark, this is good stuff! I like this idea of creating a trigger point. Something that maybe we can use to bring us back to a “happy” place – or to remove us from a place of worry or fear. Our emotional responses can be controlled by us…

@Annette – It’s a very uplifting song, isn’t it Annette! Reminds me of a saying I’ve heard — let go, let God. And the idea of everything happening for a reason – if this is indeed true – and I think it might be as well – then there is another very good reason for not worrying. Thanks Annette!


Evelyn Lim November 18, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Great topic!!

I love the song “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. The lines are so simple but yet have such an important meaning. It’s true that worry does not serve a purpose. Nothing external changes. However, internally worry is destructive. When we come to the understanding that it is really a choice, we can begin to take charge of how we would like to live our days.

Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..My Vision Board Tops Amazon’s Bestseller List?


Lance November 18, 2008 at 8:12 pm

@Meleah – Hey Meleah, I think we can all say that worry has gotten the better of us at one time or another. So, know that you’re not alone in having worry in your life. The first step is realizing that worry won’t change the outcomes. Keep at it Meleah…

@Stacey Shipman – I second that thought! Watch the news, and what do you see – the negatives of the world – it’s the only thing that is “newsworthy” (according to the NBC’s of the world anyway). The idea of worry being future-based is a good point to make – especially in that our thoughts are not “real” – only in our mind. You’ve said it so well, when contrasting worry and guilt. And that can indeed be a messy web that we can all too easily get tangled in – when we let these two things consume too much of us. I agree – in fact I’m quite positive – we can’t eliminate guilt and worry – but we can minimize them. And being present in the moments of our life, really taking each moment as it comes – can go a long way towards this. Stacey, what wonderful points you’ve added to this discussion today – thank you!

@Caroline – How often do we forget that there is nothing we can’t handle? All too often, I suspect. “Unexpected” will happen – and somehow things will work out – whether we worry about it or not. That’s a great reminder for us. And, also – thank you for sharing that wonderful affirmation – it is very freeing to read this and think that there can be joy in all our moments. Thank you Caroline!

@ru4real – Thanks for including the verse from Matthew – the second time that particular verse has been mentioned – and with good reason – it is so fitting to this topic. Maya Angelou does share some great advice also – living our lives – that should be our focus – not instead about worrying about that life…

@Natalia – What’s cool, Natalia, is that you’ve gotten to where you are today – and, while that was wasted time spent worrying – it’s helped you to realize just how wasteful worrying can be. You’re in a good place now…

@Blake – Actions – those we can control. Worry – just “bad” thoughts floating around in our minds. I say lets go with actions!

@Audra – What a great analogy Audra – I love it! The comparison between cigarettes and worry – and how they take time off of our lives. And even if worry doesn’t take time off our life in the end – it definitely takes time away “now” – while we spend time doing that instead of something else. So, I’m in – I’m kicking the habit for one whole day! Now…I should be good as long as I don’t lose any of my kids…

@Evelyn – Thank you! It’s such an uplifting and happy song – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”!! I really love how you’re comparing the internal vs. external here with worry – it does only affect us internally, and changes nothing externally – worry doesn’t. That’s a great point to remember… and I say, let’s live our lives as worry-free as possible!


Angel November 18, 2008 at 9:05 pm

What a perfect post! Way too many people waste time worrying. And for what? Helloooo… Worrying just wastes time. It doesn’t change the future and as you mentioned it just saps the joy out of the present.

Today, a client was talking about a vision test they he had to take. Then he spent five minutes saying, “what will happen if I fail the vision test”? I quickly told him that we are not going to put any energy toward negative thoughts. We are going to walk into that test with optimism. My point is: thinking like that gets him nowhere. Worrying that you MIGHT fail a test isn’t helping at all.

In short, be positive. Don’t worry. Be happy. thanks, Lance


avtcoach November 18, 2008 at 9:35 pm

I used to be a real worrier. Now, as I have become older I see it as wasted energy. I try not to borrow what bad may come tomorrow but just focus on the day. I find that if I prepare ahead, stay somewhat organized and just try to enjoy my day, then the worry kind of takes care of itself. I also think that constant worry really effects ones health. I worry about that! :):)

avtcoach´s last blog post..Prayer: Standing In The Gap


Pink Ink November 19, 2008 at 1:23 am

Thinking of that song makes me want to put up a hammock (well, the proverbial hammock coz it’s 50’s during the day outside), kicking back and relaxing. 🙂

Pink Ink´s last blog post..8th Wonder of the World


Mindful Mimi November 19, 2008 at 2:24 am

Lance, totally agree with you. I must say I am usually not a big worrier. Maybe I worry a little more now that I have two kids. But still. I found out that when I worry less, less things happen or go wrong (law of attraction thing). And instead of running after my boys telling them no and watch out, they actually manage things much quicker because they feel I trust them, I trust that they can do this. And when my 2,5 year old climbs up on the climbing ropes until he is at the top (about 3 m high) I must say at first my heart plummeted and I wanted to run to catch him. But he got up there and he managed to get down (before I arrived running). I was proud of him and said so. And this is how we try to approach things and it seems to work for us. It gives them a lot of self-confidence. I guess I am able to do this because I was raised that way too.
I am currently reading The Secret and thinking happy thoughts, that helps too. But from a young age I considered that worrying made no sense as it is not an action that prevents anything from happening. It just makes things worse.
Thanks for the post.

Mindful Mimi´s last blog post..EU’s bureaucracy keeps money away from developing countries


Lance November 19, 2008 at 5:51 am

@Angel – Thanks so much Angel! What a perfect example you’ve shared about your client and the vision test. You’re absolutely correct – worrying about this test wasn’t going to change anything, and just lead to wasted and unproductive time on this. Thanks for sharing your example here Angel – I appreciate it very much!

@Avtcoach – Sometimes, with age comes wisdom, doesn’t it! I like that you’re mentioning physical health – that’s the second time it’s come up. And something we don’t really think about with worry – the negative health effects that it can have.

@Pink Ink – Hi Jewel! The hammock – that’s a great visual of “don’t worry, be happy”! And…I’d take the 50 degrees, it’d feel warm compared to the 20’s we’re having – I would probably use that hammock!!

@Mindful Mimi – Thanks for sharing about your kids, Mimi. It’s an excellent point that hasn’t come up – that sometimes we have to let the “go” – and not worry about what will happen to them. They will fall down, they will get cuts and bruises. but almost always, these are small things that are easily taken care of. So, while having kids can add some worry to our lives (it will) – it’s also important to remember that “kids will be kids” – and just let them have fun – without worrying.


rummuser November 19, 2008 at 9:48 am

Lance, I am a retired hippy. So, by definition, I do not worry!

rummuser´s last blog post..Down Memory Lane.


Kim Woodbridge November 19, 2008 at 10:03 am

I try not to worry about things that I have no control over. When I find myself worrying, I try to make myself stop and then come up with productive things I can try to do to correct the situation. Lately, this seems to consist of making backup plans.

I do worry a little more though now that I have a daughter – not so much about her but rather something happening to me.

Thanks for the reminder about working on being happy, Lance.

Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..5 New(ish) WordPress Themes


Paunchiness November 19, 2008 at 10:17 am

I think that its the worry that has driven the economy down into such a hole. I’ve been out shopping like mad to try and bring the retail numbers up but I only have so much money to spend. I think everyone should do the same and by not worrying about things we can just fix them.

Paunchiness´s last blog post..Orgasm on a Bike?


Sagan November 19, 2008 at 10:25 am

I’ve spent much of my life as a worrier. But more recently I’m learning how to just calm down and recognize that tomorrows another day, and there’s no sense in worrying about something that is already done, and there’s also no sense in worrying about something that hasn’t yet happened. We might as well just be happy and enjoy what we’ve got!

Sagan´s last blog post..How to eat a pile of cookie dough


Squawkfox November 19, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I am a wonderful worrier. Worrying is an emotion I find hard to let go of….kind of like that song you linked to. 😀

Squawkfox´s last blog post..10 Ways to Build a Resume Like a Professional Resume Writer: The Do’s


Laurie November 19, 2008 at 6:26 pm

I don’t worry nearly as much today as I use to worry. I would worry about how the behavior of others would affect me when they seemed out of control and I felt like I was in their sites. I have also worried about being accepted. For example, I worried about a presentation I had to make a couple of weeks ago because a great deal was riding on how I did. I wanted the audience to really like my presentation.

Most of the time, worry can be taken care of by being prepared. I was prepared for my presentation and that helped. I worked on trying to see my worry as excitement instead of worry.

But you are right, most of the time, worry does you no good. I know someone who worries all the time because “it’s her job”. I really believe she uses worry to get attention.


Lance November 19, 2008 at 8:31 pm

@Rummuser – No worries, man, no worries!!

@Kim – That’s a great strategy, Kim – to become aware of when worry is starting to set in – and then act upon it. Awareness is the key! Get past worry…and be happy!!

@Paunchiness – Well, that’s a great point (and goes along with what Stacey Shipman said about television – and the negativity it portrays). We hear so much negativity in regards to our economy right now, and it makes people want to squirrel away what they have. Not that this is a bad thing, but on the other hand, if there is something we really need – this is a great time to buy it – because you’re helping to bolster our economy, and it helps to take some of the worry away (as long as this is not done foolishly). Thanks for sharing that point.

@Sagan – Beautifully said Sagan! We can’t gain anything by worrying about tomorrow, just as we can gain anything by dwelling on yesterday. We have today. Celebrate it! And be happy!

@Squawkfox – Worrying CAN be hard to let go of – you’re not alone. And yet, when we do – we are freed from the chains that it holds us down with.

@Laurie – And, did the worry help at all? Or did it just consume part of your life, with no gain? Preparation: one of the key ingredients in pushing worry aside! Great point Laurie. When we prepare, that’s really action that helps us get beyond the worry. And that’s a good thing.


Jamie | WiredParentPad November 19, 2008 at 10:17 pm

As a husband of a wife who is a natural “worrier” (she gets it from her dad), your words are true to my heart Lance. Worries are often unfounded, and even if they aren’t, do they change the outcome? No.

Great stuff, Lance. I posted this right to my Facebook.

Jamie | WiredParentPad´s last blog post..50 Best Dad Blogs and Life


bobbi November 19, 2008 at 11:40 pm

oooo man Lance you have nailed it on the head!!!! We can’t do anything when we worry but make life more difficult! I always heard the expression the antidote to worrying is trusting, and I think that it was I need to do daily in order to live life to the absolute fullest. Love the song, love the words!

bobbi´s last blog post..Tribute to My Uncle Richie


Kelly@SHE-POWER November 20, 2008 at 12:56 am

I love this song. But more than that, I love the sentiment and I really do believe in it. I used to be a world class worrier (strange when you consider I am also an eternal optimist) and then it got so out of control after I had Bunny that I was just making myself sick. Kids really bring out your fears, so motherhood became my opportunity to really see the effect worry has on our lives. These days I find it much easier to worry about things I cannot control, and as for those areas in my sphere of influence, well I try VERY HARD to deal with what is happening now and not worry about what may or may not happen later.

It’s a daily discipline, but one that is well worth it.

Kelly 🙂

Kelly@SHE-POWER´s last blog post..New Look SHE-POWER, and Reader Help Required!


sharon November 20, 2008 at 4:39 am

It’s is very easy for us to worry, but once we step into the knowledge that we can indeed deliberately choose our thoughts then we can make some deliberate effort not to worry. It’s hard to at first, but with time, we will find that even in trying times our mind will reach for something to appreciate or to be grateful for.
Worry never brings peace or any comfort, but appreciation does. And of course, in any moment, despite the circumstance there is always something to appreciate.
Thank you Lance, I enjoy your posts.

sharon´s last blog post..Ecstasy of Joy-Bob Proctor Cruise 2008


Lance November 20, 2008 at 7:21 am

@Jamie/WiredParentPad – I hear ya’ Jamie – worries are unfounded usually – and even if they’re not – worry isn’t going to help out.

@Bobbi – I love that Bobbi – trusting. We have to trust ourselves, that we are doing the right things, and that even when we don’t – trust that life will go on. Thanks for that thought Bobbi…

@Kelly – The song is stuck in my head now! But it’s all good – hey, it keeps me happy, and not worrying!! A daily discipline – yes it is! Without keeping worry “in check”, we risk it taking over too much of our life. And for what purpose? Kids have a way of both making us re-evaluate things (that’s good) and causing us more worry (that’s bad). You’re doing well – I see the “eternal optimist” shining through!

@Sharon – Choosing our thoughts — very well said Sharon. And in finding those things for which we’re grateful, we lessen the worry – an attitude of gratitude. That is really a wonderful way to look at this, thanks much Sharon!


Urban Panther November 20, 2008 at 8:24 am

I liked that song until a plastic fish started to sing it over and over and over again *grin*

I worry about things that are out of my control. I am not very good with NOT KNOWING. I know, hard to imagine, but it’s true.

I used to fret and become completely dsyfunctional. Now I force myself to put it out of my mind. I tell myself that once I receive the information I can decide then whether to freak out or not. 99.9% of the time, no freaking out is required.

It’s a much better system, but it still takes quite an effort to implement.

Urban Panther´s last blog post..Bullying and punishing the victim


Linda Abbit November 20, 2008 at 8:35 am

It’s good to hear that song again in my head, Lance! It’s always been a favorite.

When I find myself worrying I always ask myself if there’s anything I can actually do to help or change the situation causing the worry. If not, it makes me realize I’m doing “wasted worrying” and I can let it go and feel relief.

It took me many years to get to this point. Also by looking death in the face and being a survivor. Once you’ve done that, you tend to worry less I think.

As others here have said, the one thing I always worry about is our son, and I doubt that will ever change. It’s a part of parenthood.

Great topic!

Linda Abbit´s last blog post..Funny Fridays: Because It’s Better to Laugh than to Cry!


Jannie November 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Worry? Only in the middle of the night sometimes. Why ?!! But then I awake and everything is fine and dandy. Don’t you hate that?


Mark November 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Just checking in! Hope you and your family are doing awesome!


Ross November 20, 2008 at 7:14 pm

I’m pleased you mentioned that we have a choice whether or not to let worry overcome us. Sometimes it’s natural to just ‘respond’ to things, and let emotions take over. Taking a step back and deciding to handle things differently is a great way to start reclaiming your life!

Well written, lance!


Ross´s last blog post..You see in your own life what you believe


Dr. Cason November 20, 2008 at 7:42 pm

It’s a choice. Sometimes worry or guilt can be a good thing. It can motivate us to do better and therefore be better and happier for that matter.

Dr. Cason´s last blog post..One Day, I’m Going to Miss the Banana Trees


Lance November 20, 2008 at 9:29 pm

@Urban Panther – Am I not up with all the cool gadgets??? I’ve seen the fish before, but never singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. Good thing for Youtube! It’s hilarious – but maybe after a while…it could become obnoxious! If it makes you feel better, UP, I think I’m a bit dysfunctional usually! And…it’s good not to “freak out” isn’t it! You’re doing good stuff!

@Linda – It’s such an upbeat song, isn’t it Linda! And, thanks for sharing your wisdom Linda – looking at a situation and evaluating if there really is anything you can do about it. And, I completely understand about the worry when it comes to children – I’ve been there – those days (moments) where worry consumes you.

@Jannie – Yes! I’ve had that. What is it saying? Is it something buried deep within us that is causing this during the night? You’ve prompted a lot of questions for me Jannie…

@Mark – Hey Mark, we’re all great here – thanks for asking! Hope all is well in your family too…Have a great night!!

@Ross – Yes, there is a choice we have – we CAN decide whether to worry or not. Or to act, or not. That is a big key to this whole thing, isn’t it Ross.

@Dr. Cason – Hey, great to see you here Sheila! Yes, if worry can be used and turned into something productive – such as if a student were worried about how they might do on a test, they could decide to take action – and study more (good use of the worry). Or they could just sit there and worry, without doing anything about it (bad use of worry). Important point to remember…


Barbara Swafford - Blogging Without A Blog November 20, 2008 at 10:37 pm

Hi Lance – I didn’t read the previous comments, so I hope I’m not being redundant. Years ago I heard the saying, “Worrying is like a rocking chair, rock all you want but it doesn’t get you anywhere”. That sticks with me when my mind starts to wonder toward worry.

Barbara Swafford – Blogging Without A Blog´s last blog post..Be Careful What You Wish For


Robin November 21, 2008 at 6:44 am

Hi Lance – If I find myself worrying I tend to deliberately focus on the things that are okay – and also remember how some problems have worked out alright (or even amazingly well) in the past. I also like to take some practical steps to alleviate worry, if they fit – eg if I am worried about my tax, then get my tax done, or whatever.

Robin´s last blog post..An Unusual Experiment


Karl - Work Happy Now November 21, 2008 at 8:13 am

I used to be a big worrier. What helped me was meditation. I got a better grasp on where my thoughts were coming from and how to stay in the moment. It’s taking years of practice, but now I worry for a little while then either take action or let it go.

Karl – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..No More Complaining at Work – A Thirty Day Challenge


Miles McClagan November 22, 2008 at 4:53 am

And if anyone is still worried about that old urban legend, he’s not dead Mr McFerrin…

Miles McClagan´s last blog post..Daydreamin’ (Contentment and the Sliding Door)


Lance November 22, 2008 at 10:41 am

@Barbara – Not redundant at all! Your comments always add to the discussion. I like the rocking chair example – that’s a good way to look at worry.

@Robin – Focusing on what’s okay — that’s a great idea (I’m going to try that)! And you’re right, sometimes we worry about something, and then often everything is fine – or even better than fine. Important point to remember.

@Karl – Meditation sound like a great way to help calm ourselves and lessen worry! And staying in the moment – that is a key – especially when it’s something we have no control over. Sounds like you have a great foundation for controlling worry Karl!

@Miles – No, he is not…


Liara Covert November 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm

People do not always realize how they feel, let-a-lone why they choose to feel as they do. The evolution of awareness is a gradual process that enlightens and dazzels the human mind. SIngs like Bobby McFerrin’s ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ are friendly reminders that we each have choices. We decide what to think and why. To rediscover you are in charge of all your choices and conditions is empowering. You choose to be happy or not. Every choice has an underlying motive. Find it.

Liara Covert´s last blog post..What is it about ‘ right place at the right time?"


suddenly slimmer November 22, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I might be the greatest worrier,worrying things that absolutely necessary. Keep reminding myself to stop worrying. Yes, being worry is just waste of energy. Glad to find this soothing article in a nice and bright sunday morning.

suddenly slimmer´s last blog post..Deep November and Good Weekend


Viriya November 22, 2008 at 8:50 pm

At the moment, I am living in misery. I’m deeply depressed by so many things in the past week. Reading your post while listening to the song helps me a great deal. I think there is always a bright side of any story. I need to take myself out of misery soon! Thank you , Lance.

Viriya´s last blog post..Choosing a Job Because of Money!


Lance November 22, 2008 at 9:29 pm

@Liara – Awareness, that is a key! Being aware that we have a choice – always – is such a huge place to get to. And, knowing that WE have a choice – that WE can decide – is an empowering place to be!

@Suddenly Slimmer – Knowing, really knowing – that you worry – that’s a great first step toward putting that worry energy into something else. You’re on your way – just believe in you…

@Viriya – I’m sorry to hear of your week Viriya. This song is an uplifting one, and that it has helped you in whatever way – is such a wonderful feeling for me. I wish you well, in finding the bright sides that DO exist…


Liz Rosenbaum November 23, 2008 at 8:45 am

What an awesome post! I am the queen of worrying… and I struggle with knowing how to just “snap” out of it. It’s definitely easier said than done.

Liz Rosenbaum´s last blog post..Boycotting The Clean Plate Club


Lance November 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Liz, yes – it is definitely easier said than done! Once we get into the worry “funk”, it’s like a vicious cyccle that is hard to break until the thing we were worried about has passed. So, how do I “snap” out of it? Honestly, sometimes I don’t (especially if I’m worried about my wife, or one of our children). But sometimes I do – and I do by “doing”. “Doing” could be doing something about that thing I’m worried about. Or, if it’s something I can’t effect – “doing” something, anything, to occupy my mind and take it off that thing that is causing the worry. And sometimes, that works (and sometimes it doesn’t)….So, this is a journey for me too, getting to that place where worry really does take a back seat. Keep at it, Liz…it’s worth finding what it is that works for you…


Jenny November 25, 2008 at 11:25 am

I love this song! It always makes me smile and I absolutely love the video, in case you don’t know or remember, Richard Moll and Robin Williams are in it and it’s hysterical! Thank you for reminding me about this! I can’t help but worry about a lot of things, in fact I’m a pretty worried worrier but I am starting to learn to worry less.


Lance November 26, 2008 at 5:22 am

Jenny, this is a great song isn’t it! It’s just so upbeat and positive. A “worried worrier” – that’s a mouthful! You’re going in the right direction Jenny…


louise December 23, 2008 at 11:17 am

Great reminder!! I read a book by Dale carnagie
“Stop Worrying Start Living” Its got some great thoughts as well.


DENIVAL August 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm
Henway September 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Sorry if I am responding so late to this post (just discovered this blog)… It’s a great message for sure, but definitely not easy to follow. Worrying never solves the problem, and just creates needless suffering. I used to be a worrywart, and am learning to be more in the present moment and enjoy the simple things in life… I find worrying is just a preoccupation with either the past or present. It’s hard.. and it doesn’t help that we face enormous pressure everyday from society, our bosses, our parents, our friends, loved ones etc… everyday we’re bombareded with messages on what we HAVE to do, what we HAVE to become, and it’s just a cause of needless worry.
Henway´s Last Fabulous Post ..My Review Of ColonixMy Profile


Lance September 16, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Yes, when we can quiet our minds from the thoughts that create this worry…we become so much more present-focused. And that’s a beautiful place to “be”…


Charles November 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm

How many of the things that you worried about a year ago..THAT NEVER HAPPENED


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