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Problem Solving Instead of Worrying

Worrying will have you going in circles, cautioned Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. But thinking will get you somewhere.

Worrying won't solve problems.

My desk was piled high with angel manuscripts to edit. I worried that I’d never get through all of them before deadline. But of course I had to. In publishing, deadlines are hard and fast rules. So instead of hunkering down and getting to work, I sat there feeling overwhelmed, doing nothing. Except worrying.

How was I ever going to get through all these stories and give each one the attention it deserved? Worrying about my work led to worries about my endless to-do list at home, doctor appointments, vacation plans, a vet visit. My mind skipped all over the place. One worry led to another, and I was sunk.


Until my eye fell on a little Pocket Card No. 6, “The Way to Eliminate Worry” by Norman Vincent Peale. I don’t know what happened to the other cards in this series, but I’d immediately pinned the Worry one right above my desk. Worry was my weakness.

“To get on top of worry, change worry into thinking,” Dr. Peale says on Pocket Card No. 6. “Worry sends the mind round and round in the same groove, and you never come to any conclusions. Thinking works its way through the problem to an answer. You make progress when you think, but you get nowhere when you worry.”

Boy, he got that right on the money. These manuscripts weren’t going to edit themselves. I neatened the stack, set my worrying aside and sharpened my pencil to tackle the story on top.

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