Only Eight Percent

I had lunch with a friend today that had failed to call his elderly mother for a couple of days. Bright and early this morning she called him. The first words out of her mouth were, “What’s wrong son?” He assured her that nothing was wrong.

Mom’s are that way.  People worry about all kinds of things. Beginning as kids, our worry engines fire up as we fret about such things as the Bogyman, getting our share and if tomorrow will be a snow day.  Once turned on, worry probably never completely shuts down as long as we are breathing. The Bible instructs us not to worry as does Doctor Phil and at least a zillion self-help books. However, most of us seem to roll right along with our worry engines firing on all eight cylinders.

When I was a kid, I remember my mom worrying about what people at church would think when my number one brother, Bill, was hauled to juvenile hall on multiple occasions. As I recall, I think I worried about that too. I also worried when number two bro, Eddie, regularly said that my head was pointed.

I once had a friend who constantly worried that he might, in his words, “look stupid”.  Perhaps his biggest worry was that he was going bald. His wife told me that he obsessed  to the point that he was driving her crazy. Even though he was one of the most naturally talented and gifted people I have even know, he so fixated about what might someday happen on top of his head that he actually threatened to give up his very public job if his hair kept falling out.  All that worrying for naught; yes, his hair is still falling out, but bald is now sexy. He is still at his job and apparently doing quite well.

Here is what one study has determined that you are apt to worry about:

  1. Things that never happen: 40 percent. That is, 40 percent of the things you worry about will never occur anyway.
  2. Things over and past that can’t be changed by all the worry in the world: 30 percent.
  3. Needless worries about our health: 12 percent.
  4. Petty, miscellaneous worries: 10 percent.
  5. Real, legitimate worries: 8 percent.

Only 8 percent of your worries are worth concerning yourself about. Ninety-two percent are pure fog with no substance at all.

 Something to think about.


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