Don’t Worry About Tomorrow
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt. 6:34
As I prepare for the holidays I am constantly reminded of a verse I grew up with. It goes like this, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Now, although that does not appear to be the most comforting verse I’ve ever read, it is more true than not, and, with that knowledge in hand, I can rest assured that what will happen will happen, and if it is to be so… I can’t do anything about it… so I might as well get about the business of life and getting things done that I promised myself and others that I’d do.
In an odd sort of way I like this verse, because it is a great reminder that each day has enough trouble of its own, so don’t add to it by worrying or making yourself sick with fear. You’ve been warned, so you know what is coming; you even know what is potentially coming tomorrow.
As much as I want to control tomorrow so I don’t mess anything up or miss anything, it does me no good to worry and fret and become anxious for tomorrow because, really, I have no idea of what tomorrow will bring.
Now I can prepare for tomorrow and get myself ready, but worrying will not solve any problem I have coming my way. It’s been said that All worry does is steal joy from today.
I love the quote from Dale Carnegie – Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
I like the quote, Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is steal your joy and keep you very busy doing nothing.
And the truth is, most of the things you’re worried about right now will not come true and most likely will never happen, so you’re either setting yourself up for disappointment or failure (or both) and that is a lousy way to live your amazing life.
Or, like Mary Hemingway said, “Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything”
I came across the quote from Corrie ten Boom that says Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.
And, friend, you really can’t afford that, not in this life. I find that a lot of people are worriers; they worry about everything—things they can control and things they cannot. I’m not sure of the reason they waste so much time in fear (and that is what worry is, fear), but it seems to me that we have a national pastime and it’s to worry.
I’ll tell you what I think worry does for many people, it gives them something to do; it makes you think you’re taking action, but in reality you’re not, you’re just wasting mental energy worrying about things you have no control over—you have decided that, instead of doing the things you need to, you will waste valuable time doing nothing. Wow! That must be fulfilling. I’m joking.
Listen, worry is nothing but wasting time, and maybe you have time to waste—maybe all your chores are done, maybe your shopping is all finished and the house is decorated, and all the cooking is finished, house cleaned, shoes polished, files ready for the new year, attic spotless and garage and closets organized and cleaned out ready to give the extra to Goodwill. Wow, good for you. I’m impressed. If everything is done, then you’ve probably got time to waste sitting around worrying, but you know what, people who have all their stuff together are not the type to sit around worrying. Why? They realize that worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening—it just stops them from enjoying the good in life today.
And smart people don’t waste their seconds, minutes and hours for days, months and years doing nothing. Mark my words. You will never see an outrageously successful person be a worrier. Never!
Why, you may ask. Because successful people know that Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least (Goethe).
One thing I always find fascinating is when you see people who worry and fret and moan and groan and then, when some unexpected incident happens, they forget all about the worries they woke with that morning. In an instant they are now focused on the issue at hand.
Nothing puts life into perspective like a car accident, or a fall or a house fire. Suddenly all the worrying about the little things in life falls away when real issues are jolted into the forefront of our thinking.
Now I’m not wishing that any such misfortune enters your life; I simply want to remind you of how quickly you forget the issues that seem to weigh heavy on your mind when real, life-changing issues occurred.
May I remind you that you’d do well not to worry or, let me go one step further and say, stop worrying about tomorrow and the next day and the next. Instead of worrying, let’s stop and consider some options to help you focus instead of flitter.
Think in straight lines about what is due next. If you had to put a plan on paper (and I encourage you to write it out) what is due next to help you get things in order?
Don’t make it harder than it is. Really, what is due next? Do you need some tools, or more time or others’ advice or help? If so, ask. What I find fascinating is that so many people are afraid to ask for help, when the person who could help wouldn’t mind a bit if you ask in a proper way, then take the actions prescribed and then thank them for their help and advice.
So, back to the task at hand, what is due next? Once you start your list, you will be amazed how quickly things fall into place, BUT the key is you have to stop worrying and start working. Worry does not take the place of work. So, once again, let’s start with your written list of what is due.
I can tell you that when I have a list and stick to it, I am usually amazed by how quickly the items on my list are accomplished and how good I feel when that list is checked off and I’m on to the next big thing. Working my list takes away my worrying about if I’m going to get it done. Once I put a simple plan in place (trust me all my plans are simple), I don’t the have the energy to make anything harder than it is…or harder than it should be.
The reason I want you to take a few minutes today to write out your list is, if you remember, a few months ago I did a show called There is No Someday and I told the story about my friend, Stewart, who gave me a T-shirt that said, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday – see, there is no Someday.
I love that shirt, and not just because it’s gray and has a cool ocean scene, but because it speaks to the heart of the matter, which is that today is the day you have to make something happen.
So, friend, since there is no Someday, you need to stop worrying about what could’a, should’a or would’a happened, and get going today. Stop allowing the false fear of worry stop you or even slow you down. Why? Because we all have 1,440 minutes today to get things done, but it will only begin when you stop wasting your time and get to work.
Life is uncertain, and we live in the knowledge that everything changes, so let me remind you of one of life’s truths. Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Don’t add to it. Just be assured that you will have the strength to get through whatever life sends your way. Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering and doubting. Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.
Worrying will not change the world—it only changes you—so stop worrying. Work hard, take chances and keep the faith.