One of the things that militates against happiness is worry, and that’s one respect in which I’ve become much happier as I’ve grown older. I worry much less and I found a very useful plan in regard to worry, which is to think, “Now what is the very worst thing that could happen?” And then think, “Well, after all it wouldn’t be so very bad a hundred years hence; it probably won`t matter.” After you’ve really made yourself think that, you won`t worry so much. Worry comes from not facing unpleasant possibilities.

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
Interview by Woodrow Wyatt, BBC TV (1959)

Collected in Bertrand Russell's BBC Interviews (1959) [UK] and Bertrand Russell Speaks His Mind (1960) [US]. Reprinted (abridged) in The Humanist (1982-11/12), and in Russell Society News, #37 (1983-02).

Added on 8-Nov-23 | Last updated 8-Nov-23
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