Don’t sit and stew–get up and do.

The other day I saw something that got me thinking about…well, thinking. Overthinking I should say. One might ask: Why think about overthinking? Well, our mind is a powerful tool. It is capable of unimaginable brilliance and can propel us to do great things. The problem comes when we aren’t using it for this, but for worrying about all the “what ifs” of life. Now, I’m certainly not seeking to convince anyone that thinking or being prepared is bad. I just believe that when this process begins to inhibit growth, progress and success that it must be curbed and controlled.

A great friend of mine by the name of Buddy Ebsen (Yes, that Buddy Ebsen!) used to say, “Don’t sit and stew–get up and do.” It was a simple and succinct statement. I imagine he told this to himself when he left Orlando in the Summer of 1928 with just $26.75 in his pocket to make it in the big time as a dancer in New York City. Imagine if he’d looked at his back account and “stewed” about how little money he had and told himself he could never make it? The entertainment world may have been a very difference place!

The fact is, instead of worrying about all the ways he could fail, Buddy stood up and made a move that he would certainly never regret. He was bold, confident and didn’t let negative thinking hold him back.

We’ve all heard of the phrase, “Fortune favors the bold”. It comes from a Latin proverb and is used all around the world as a reminder that the greatest successes in life sometimes require us to step outside of our comfort zones and leave behind thoughts of failure. Yes, as my worry prone friends remind me, when disaster strikes, they’ll be more prepared. I simply respond that in the unlikely event that the worst happens, I’ll figure it out and make it work.

The truth is, so much potential in this world is stunted by letting negative thoughts cloud our true capabilities. Too many terrific individuals waste a huge amount of time with worry over things that will never happen. Think for a moment about something that you had to face and spent a lot of time worrying about, only to find that once it finally came time to face it, everything turned out fine. This is happening far more than we might realize and in some cases is stopping us from taking even bigger, more advantageous leaps of faith. Out there somewhere, there are millions of people who want to start a business but haven’t done it yet because they fear failure. True, many businesses don’t make it, but where else can success come from besides a place of chance and risk? Look at many of the greatest businesspeople on earth who started from nothing and managed to create something larger than they’d ever imagined.

Remember: Fortune favors the bold! Successful lives depend on our attitude and perspective. Spending our time in a negative headspace, running through everything that can go wrong without thinking about what could go right. In my life, I tend to think more like an optimist. For some this is very difficult, and that’s fine. But if we find this way of thinking does more harm than good, we must change our way of thinking, at least in certain situations.

A friend of mine jokingly calls me an idealist and himself a realist. Over the years, he’s shared his predictions of gloom and doom for our country and the world. The truth is, I’ve found most of his predictions to be false.

Bad things can and do happen to good people, or people who take risks. That’s why they’re called risks, there’s a chance of failure. But what about the chances of success? People loving the book we wrote. A customer thanking us for the delicious meal at our restaurant. Our business making people’s lives easier. We can never know until we try.

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