Someone entitled "How to worry" tells about the clock that had a nervous breakdown. A new clock placed on the shelf was ticking two ticks to the second as any good clock should tick. Then it began to calculate how many times it was going to have to tick. "Two ticks to the second means 120 ticks per minute. That's 7200 ticks per hour, 172,800 ticks per day, 1,209,600 per week for 52 weeks, and a total of 62,899,200 per year." Horrified, the clock had a nervous breakdown.
The clock was taken to a psychiatrist who asked, "Clock, what's your trouble?" "Oh, doctor," the clock complained, "I have to tick so much. I have to tick two ticks a second and 120 ticks per minute and 7200 ticks per hour, and ..." "Hold it," the psychiatrist cut in, "How many ticks do you have to tick at a time?" "Oh, I just have to tick one tick at a time," was the reply. "Then let me make a suggestion," replied the doctor. "You go home and try ticking one tick at a time. Don't even think about the next tick until its time. Just tick one tick at a time. Can you do that?" "Of course, I can" said the clock now happy and revived.
This story teaches us three things: why people worry, the futility of worry, and how to overcome worry.
Why people worry:
We worry when in our minds we try to bite off more than we can chew. The clock is bothered about how many ticks it will have to make in one year rather than focusing on the ticking it needs to do today, this very minute. Similarly, we should not worry about so many things "'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?'". We try to handle too many things on our minds when we worry about the future, about the tomorrows of our life that are so uncertain.
The futility of worry:
In the story of the clock we see that worry does not solve problems. Rather, it is counterproductive. As the clock experienced, and this can diminish the person's life span.
How to overcome worry:
We overcome worry by living in the present moment, focusing on what we need to do today, knowing that we can figure out how to cross tomorrow's bridge when we get there. To focus on the present and not on the future!