“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Last year I got hit with a LARGE insurance bill. So large that I thought I was going to have to shut down that business. I just didn’t have an extra $11,000 laying around. In fact, I had nearly zero dollars laying around. I was devastated and had one hell of a pity party for a while.
My pity party lasted a week or two. Then, Tim Ferris, author of The 4 Hour Work Week, posted a “when to worry” flow chart on his Facebook page and my pity party was over. I owed the insurance agency $11,000 dollars that I didn’t have. What was the worst they could do? Sue me? For what, $11,000? It wouldn’t put me in any different of a situation. So, no need to worry there. My worst case scenario was actually no worse at all. I thought maybe they would drop my coverage. So, I went to another broker and got everything lined up to switch over. But then I realized if they drop me, there would be an very unlikely chance that they would get their money in a timely manner. They didn’t drop me. In fact, the cut the adjusted premium in half to keep me as a customer. I paid my bill over several months. There was never anything to worry about.
Could I fix the problem? I wasn’t sure so I looked at both scenarios. No: well then there was nothing to worry about. Yes: well then, there’s nothing to worry about.
My car overheated not to long ago. Actually it does it quite often lately but THIS time I went through all kinds of hell. What am I going to do? How I am going get it to the shop. How much is this going to cost. I have to buy a new car! It’s Friday night, the mechanic won’t even be around until Monday. Can I drive it to him? How much is a tow truck? Did my AAA membership expire? Guess I’ll walk all weekend. Good thing I don’t have a date. I never have a date. Probably because I drive a piece of shit!
Funny thing is, I had just left the auto-part store and had a gallon of mixed coolant in my car. I pulled over, used a towel to remove that radiator cap, and filled the radiator. That was it! All that worrying was for nothing.
Could I fix the problem? Throughout this entire scenario the answer was yes regardless of how bad it was. Turns out I just needed to add a little coolant. There was never anything to worry about.
Most recently I got notified by my property manager that I had a leaky water heater. The maintenance man decided it couldn’t be fixed and that it needed to be replaced. Let the pity party begin!! Price to replace the water heater? $1100. Shit! In case you didn’t notice, my car has not been doing so well lately and I need to get it replaced. So I have been looking for some extra money and found some in my rental income stash. I got excited about the kind of van I was going to get with this money so when this call came in for a new water heater, I was not happy about it at all. In fact, I was trying to find ways to do the job myself to save some money.
The morning I wrote this, I did something that I have been wanting to do more of, I took the money out! (Blog post on this coming soon.) I took the money out of the equation and made the decision based on my true feelings. My true feelings were I didn’t want to do it and I really wanted it done by a licensed plumber in the area because I want to sell the house. So I gave the go ahead to get the work done. It was an instant relief.
In this scenario my pity party didn’t last long. I have been using this flow chart for a while now and I’m getting better at it. Could I fix the problem? Yes: no need to worry about it. I’m just pissed I can’t buy my van!