What, Me Worry?

Yeah, I worry—about a lot of things. Worry may be inevitable, but it is not inevitably bad.

Columns From: 1/1/2008 Modern Machine Shop, ,

Yeah, I worry—about a lot of things. Worry may be inevitable, but it is not inevitably bad. I once had to explain this to my teenage son when he protested the mild restrictions that his parents imposed on his late-night activities. Dave: “You guys worry too much.” Dad: “Dave, worry is just love turned into fear. Parents wouldn’t worry so much if they didn’t love their kids so much.”

So worry can be a useful indicator of what we care about and what is important to us. Although certain kinds of worry can be unhealthy, the normal kind is one of the gut responses to reality that the purposeful mind needs to consult and address. Worry can be a focusing influence. This is as true in our work and business lives as it is in our personal lives.

For instance, I’m worried about our country’s prosperity. Actually, I’m worried that worry about the economy will spook investors and consumers. Cool heads at public and private financial institutions can manage the fiscal challenges before us and maintain stability if everyone else keeps their cool. I intend to keep mine.

I care/worry about manufacturing in the United States. Ironically, I sense that most manufacturing companies, large and small, are smarter, tougher, leaner and more capable than ever before. What worries me is that this current strength will be overlooked and underestimated. As a result, U.S. manufacturing will continue to be neglected by public policymakers and written off by corporate strategists locked into an off-shoring mentality. I’ll be judging candidates for election on this issue.

I care/worry about this magazine. Modern Machine Shop has been around for almost 80 years (a third of those years with me on the editorial staff). Over time, we’ve made a lot of changes to better serve our readers and advertisers in manufacturing. Reaching the next level of service is going to take more, maybe something BIG. What? How? When? The only response can be: Ideas! Plans! Actions! We’ve got those in the works, but it’s too early to see how far we can go.

The point here is that Ideas! Plans! Actions! put worry to rest by moving it toward positive resolution. No matter what worries us, we must positively resolve to focus Ideas! Plans! Actions! on what we care about most. Let us positively resolve to pursue those Ideas! Plans! Actions! more earnestly than ever. With a new year beginning, this is a good time to make these resolutions.

Sure, I’ll keep worrying—because I can’t stop caring—but I will let only my hope and optimism show through. You should do the same.

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