Worrying about the results will not change them. I certainly recognize that a certain amount of worry is just part of being human. People have concerns about many things. There are legitimate concerns about money and financial security. There are legitimate concerns about health issues, and there are concerns about our personal and professional relationships. People want all of these things to go well in their lives, and a certain amount of worry and concern is normal. But there is another kind of worry that is not only dangerous to your health; it is dangerous to your success. The kind of worry I’m talking about is “imagined worry.” Imagined worry is when you spend a lot of time thinking about the future and what might happen in your life that could be terrible. My late friend Mary Crowley said, “Worry is a misuse of the imagination,” and she hit the nail on the head with that remark.
Worry is the most significant factor that relates to the root of negative thinking. As a matter of fact, worry just might be the engine that starts negative thinking, and if you are involved in negative thinking, you will not expect to win. If you spend an excessive amount of time imagining all the bad things that can happen in your life, you will become a person who is problem-conscious, not solution-conscious. There is perhaps no greater example of how this can be so dangerous than when it involves worrying about health issues. I have known many people who receive bad medical reports, and when they hear the news, they begin to worry so much about it that their life may as well have ended at that moment. Yes, they can have bad days, but they can choose to focus on the good days and what they can still do. They can live in the moment and know full well that tomorrow will be what it is and they can deal with it when it arrives, not before.
The only reality people have is what is going on in their lives today. It is in the events of the day that life transpires, and anything based on tomorrow is pure speculation. I’ve learned that if you have planned and prepared, you can have reasonable expectations about the future. If you take care of your health through a good diet coupled with exercise, you can reasonably expect good health in the future. If you save and invest your financial resources, you can reasonably expect to have financial security in the future. If you live by principles of love and service to others, you can reasonably expect to have good personal relationships in the future. Good action today will produce good living tomorrow. Reasonably good expectations for tomorrow are based on positive thinking and prudent action today. Try this: instead of imagining all the bad things that might happen to you in the future based on your fear, start imagining things working out. There’s a song titled, “What If It All Goes Right?” by Melissa Lawson. The second line of the chorus is, “What if it all works out, what if the stars all line up . . . ”
I believe there’s not a terrorist on the earth who can change the will of God about what my lifespan should be. I never worry because I know who I am and I know Whose I am. I know that the principles I live by are true and correct. I also know that I always try to do the right thing, and when you do the right things in life, you don’t have to worry about results. As a matter of fact, if I’ve done the right thing every day I’m not even responsible for results. I just get the benefit of what I do, and the benefits are usually better than I could have hoped for.
If you have planned well and set good goals, you can have confidence that you know where you want and need to go. If you have done what you need to do to prepare yourself to win, you do not have to worry. You will have no justification to worry about failure. You can expect to win!