"Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due"
                                                      William Ralph Inge
"Worriers aren't winners and winners aren't worriers." Some armchair philosopher said that and, in the usual way we think of "worry", it is largely true. However, if we redefine the word, "worry", can become a valuable tool for improving your career, your social life and your general happiness. Murphy's Law-- if something can go wrong it will-- is the operative principle here. Ignored, that looming omen, Murphy, can turn the confirmed worrywart into a basket case; lure the non-worrying blithe spirit into a carelessness that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, and generally cause havoc in our lives. Respected, Murphy's Law can help you deal in advance with the major and minor crises which may arise during the course of conducting our activities. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />
<?xml:namespace prefix = u1 /> The next time you find yourself worrying, make a list of all the things you fear. Be specific as possible and don't ignore fears that seem petty, once expressed in words. Now divide this catalog of worries into three sections: (1) Concerns for which you can prepare in advance with a contingency plan, (2) Fears resulting from the unpleasant feelings associated with starting a new project, and (3) The unavoidable risks. Look first at the unavoidable risks. Detail them more care- fully. For example, if you are considering a business deal and have written, "I could lose money", calculate that amount of money. When you have become as specific as possible, ask yourself if the risks are reasonable. Do the potential gains outweigh them? Can you live with them emotionally? Once you have accessed and considered this information, consciously, the risks may seem less threatening to you.
 Your second category needs careful attention as well. These fears will not go away because you cross them off a list; or because you intellectually "know better." Perhaps you believe they are part of the price we pay for breaking new ground in our lives. This type of thinking reinforces the idea that when crossing uncharted territory ones first response should be fear, anxiety or other such unpleasantness. However, unpleasant feelings require adequate planning! When beginning a new project, rather than accessing a fearful memory or other unpleasant experience, consider a time when you felt "lucky"; or when, upon beginning something new, your initial feelings of confusion were followed by clear understanding and the satisfaction of having done well. Think of a time when you needed to have "courage" and rose to an occasion. Then review some of the details of those experiences in which you had these feelings. Now, in the present state, you can take pride in your ability to press onward with the new project.
 Now for the first section-- controllable difficulties, here is where you really worry yourself to success. Break each potential problem down. Look at every facet of it. How can you counteract it? Perhaps the entire situation looks overwhelming, but the components will be more manageable. Develop a sound plan to deal with them, should they arise. By the time you have finished this procedure, you may feel more confident about your endeavor and be less apt to engage in the "wheel-spinning" kind of worry that can hurt your success further down the line. This process is equally important for non-worriers. If you tend to go blithely on your way, force yourself to make a list of potential problems, and to develop richly rewarding, sound contingency plans. As the worrywart tends to fail as a function of his fears, the unconcerned may become a victim of his lack of planning. Using your list, you know exactly where you stand. You have dismissed what seems irrelevant, faced the unavoidable with new resources and planned for the uncontrollable. Murphy himself couldn't have asked for more