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Clients First: The Two Word Miracle by JoAnn Callaway, Joseph Callaway

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The Worry Chart

How do you set your monkey down? The obvious answer is stop feeding it. Animals are like that; they go where they are fed. What are you feeding your monkey? Worry is an addictive food. First you take on the miseries of the world and then you worry about it. It all depends on you, so you worry that you can’t cope with it all.

I used to use fret and fear to feed my monkey. When nothing was wrong, I would look for trouble. Mark Twain said toward the end of his life, “I’m an old man and I’ve had many troubles, most of which never happened.” Then one day, JoAnn gave me a worry chart. It was a cute little framed novelty she found in a gift shop. It said that 41 percent of our worries were things with little chance of happening, such as plane crashes and meteors striking the earth; 34 percent were things you probably cannot change, such as the unemployment rate, death, or taxes; 12 percent were in the hands of other people, and you couldn’t control what they did; and 8 percent consisted of past mistakes you could not change. You can’t turn back the clock. Aches and pains comprised 4 percent, which would either go away or get worse, in which case you could worry about that then. And about 1 percent of the things you worry about you just might have the power to fix.

Clients First takes away the worry, because whether you succeed or fail is no longer about you. You may succeed or fail for your clients, but all that matters is that you did your best for them. There is no monkey. ...

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