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Things Not to Worry About

The post on unnecessary traffic lights generated a heated debate about rules, laws, and traffic cameras.

When I let go of concerns that exist for no good reason, life becomes much easier. When I focus on outcomes and define success on my own terms, I’m able to accomplish goals quicker and more effectively.

It’s still easy to worry about the wrong things, though. Earlier this year I went on several dozen radio shows to talk about entrepreneurship and creating your own security through a small business.

Inevitably, the host of the show would take callers and someone would ask about taxes or business licenses. Sometimes the call-in was more of a lecture than a question: “You should really think about the license and tax planning process before you start any kind of business.”

Really? This is kind of like asking:

How do I pay the taxes on the millions of dollars that I’ll make?

My advice is to first figure out how to make the millions of dollars, then you can worry about paying the taxes.

You can see these kinds of concerns—and the obvious rebuttals—in many other parts of life.

How can I travel if I don’t speak other languages?

It will be fine. You travel the way you would anywhere.

You’ll get by. You’ll figure it out. (Hat tip: Danielle the Firestarter.)

It’s not that hard.

I have so many ideas that I don’t know which to choose.

Well, stop worrying and pick one of them.

You can make the decision by flipping a coin or doing the last thing on the list.

But seriously, just pick something.

What if something goes wrong?

If something goes wrong, it will go wrong. Who cares?

And more important, what if something goes right?

You just as well might succeed as well as you might fail.


There may be some valid things to worry about in your life. But make sure you’re worrying about the right ones—not anything that can’t be easily solved or ignored.

Are you doing that?


*Check out The Traveler’s Handbooks, a new series of guides from AONC friends including Jodi Ettenberg and Shannon O’Donnell.

Image: Erin