Buddhist rule re: Worrying.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 31, 2009
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don't worry be happy buddhism

Don’t Worry, Be Present.

“It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is the rust upon the blade. It is not the movement that destroys the machinery but the friction.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” ~ Marcus Aurelius


The Serenity Prayer.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

“90% of the things you worry about are out of your control so it’s not helpful to worry. The other 10% you can control so do something about it instead of worrying.”

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” ~ Mark Twain

Relephant read: Pema Chodron: How to do Tonglen, a meditation practice for difficult times.

Leonardo DiCaprio on Worrying and Failure: [Quote]

worrying dicaprio

pooh worry anxiety anxious

I tweeted this casually awhile back, and it got more RTs than all my other posts combined, today. So, guess it warrants being made into a short, sweet blog post in and of itself.

The Buddhist rule re Worrying is simple: don’t.

Or, as Shantideva said more eloquently,

If it can be fixed; why worry?

If it can’t be fixed, what’s the point of worrying?

Or, more properly: “If a cure exists, why worry? If no cure exists, what use is there to worry?”


“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.” ~ Corrie ten Boom

“If it can be solved, theres no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV


(1) Identify objective at hand. (2) determine if you are on track (3) identify controllable and uncontrollable factors. (4) intentionally shift focus away from uncontrollable factors.

You will feel better.

Aristotle said: “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.”


Relephant bonus:

Advice re: Fear from those who are Fearless.


Four Practical Buddhist Tips for Dealing with Negativity: 


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


54 Responses to “Buddhist rule re: Worrying.”

  1. This is all very well in theory, or, as a Tantrika would say, as ground. On the path or in practical terms, you have the sometimes extreme tension of whether your strategy for a problem will work, whether you will be able to fix your problem or not. If this tension brings one (as is the case with me) a pulse of 150 and a sleepless night, it’s not funny & should not be dismissed.

  2. T J F says:

    Be anxious for nothing, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God. Philippians 4:6

  3. David says:

    Both can be achieved by the power of the the mind alone. I maybe be difficult but not impossible. If it is possible then it is true.

  4. Bohemia says:

    Yes I agree with this in principle. But if you have genuine problems and worries about money or jobs or health, it's not so straightforward. My worries and stress stem from running my own business. When the burden is too big, it isn't always possible to find a quick fix to remedy it. I find the most chilled out people are the ones with the least responsibilities in life. #justsaying

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