Quotations about   worry

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We are, perhaps uniquely among the earth’s creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives, fearing the future, discontent with the present, unable to take in the idea of dying, unable to sit still.

Lewis Thomas (1913-1993) American physician, poet, essayist, researcher
“The Youngest and Brightest Thing Around,” The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher (1979)
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Added on 23-Apr-19 | Last updated 23-Apr-19
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We boast our emancipation from many superstitions; but if we have broken any idols, it is through a transfer of idolatry. What have I gained, that I no longer immolate a bull to Jove or to Neptune, or a mouse to Hecate; that I do not tremble before the Eumenides, or the Catholic Purgatory, or the Calvinistic Judgment-day, — if I quake at opinion, the public opinion as we call it; or at the threat of assault, or contumely, or bad neighbors, or poverty, or mutilation, or at the rumor of revolution, or of murder? If I quake, what matters it what I quake at?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Character,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
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Added on 13-Nov-18 | Last updated 13-Nov-18
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Anxiety is the unwillingness to play even when you know the odds are for you. Courage is the willingness to play even when you know the odds are against you.

Thomas Szasz (b. 1920) Hungarian-American psychiatrist, educator
The Second Sin (1973)
Added on 1-Aug-18 | Last updated 1-Aug-18
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Love looks forward, hate looks back, anxiety has eyes all over its head.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook (1963)
Added on 4-Apr-18 | Last updated 4-Apr-18
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Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength — carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.

Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) Dutch evangelist, concentration camp survivor
He Cares, He Comforts (1977)
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See Spurgeon.
Added on 22-May-17 | Last updated 1-Aug-18
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Sickness and sorrows come and go, but a superstitious soul hath no rest.

Robert Burton (1577-1640) English scholar
The Anatomy of Melancholy, 3.4.1.3 (1621-51)
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Added on 21-Apr-17 | Last updated 2-May-17
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Money is that dear thing which
if you’re not careful, you can squander
your whole life thinking of …

salter-money-is-that-dear-thing-wist_info-quote

Mary Jo Salter (b. 1954) American poet, editor, academic
“A Benediction,” part 6, ll. 1-3 (1994)
Added on 26-Dec-16 | Last updated 26-Dec-16
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If your writing doesn’t keep you up at night, it won’t keep anyone else up either.

cain-writing-keep-you-up-at-night-wist_info-quote

James M. Cain (1892-1977) American author and journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Nov-16 | Last updated 1-Nov-16
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We are what we worry about, maybe that’s the lesson of the whole thing.

brust-we-are-what-we-worry-about-wist_info-quote

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
Iorich (2010)
Added on 9-Oct-16 | Last updated 9-Oct-16
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It’s one thing to be aware of complex strategies and lies that might be going on around you. It’s another to let yourself become so worried about deception that you become paralyzed.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
Dragon (1998)
Added on 19-Aug-16 | Last updated 19-Aug-16
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There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?

Erin Hanson (b. 1996) Australian poet
“There is freedom waiting for you”
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Added on 4-May-16 | Last updated 4-May-16
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The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

Buddha (c.563-483 BC) Indian mystic, philosopher [b. Siddharta Gautama]
(Attributed)

In The Teaching of Buddha [The Buddhist Bible] (1934) by the Federation of All Young Buddhist Associations of Japan.
Added on 4-May-16 | Last updated 4-May-16
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The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation.

Shaw - miserable - wist_info quote

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
Treatise on Parents and Children, “Children’s Happiness” (1914)
Added on 17-Dec-15 | Last updated 17-Dec-15
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Cares are often more difficult to throw off than sorrows; the latter die with time, the former grow upon it.

Jean-Paul Richter (1763-1825) German novelist, art historian, aesthetician [pseud. Jean-Paul]
(Attributed)
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In Ballou, Treasury of Thought (1884).
Added on 17-Dec-15 | Last updated 17-Dec-15
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When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hopes hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go for a good spin down the road,
without thought of anything but the ride you are taking.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) British writer and physician
In The American Bee Keeper (May 1895)
Added on 19-Nov-15 | Last updated 19-Nov-15
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When thinking about life, remember this: no amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of anxiety can change the future.

Other Authors and Sources
Anonymous
Added on 29-Oct-15 | Last updated 29-Oct-15
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A man who is happy at home doesn’t lie awake nights worrying about the hereafter.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Job: A Comedy of Justice (1984)
Added on 15-Sep-15 | Last updated 15-Sep-15
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Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.

Walt Disney (1901-1966) American entrepreneur, animator, film producer, showman
In “The Amazing Secret of Walt Disney,” Interview by Don Eddy, The American Magazine (Aug 1955)
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Added on 10-Aug-15 | Last updated 10-Aug-15
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A great many people (not you) do now seem to think that the mere state of being worried is in itself meritorious. I don’t think it is. We must, if it so happens, give our lives for others: but even while we’re doing it, I think we’re meant to enjoy Our Lord and, in Him, our friends, our food, our sleep, our jokes, and the birds’ song and the frosty sunrise.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Letter to Alan Griffiths (20 Dec 1946)
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Added on 5-Aug-15 | Last updated 5-Aug-15
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Don’t take tomorrow to bed with you.

Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) American preacher, writer
Inspiring Messages for Daily Living (1981 ed.)
Added on 26-Dec-14 | Last updated 26-Dec-14
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To carry care to bed is to sleep with a pack on your back.

Thomas Chandler Haliburton (1796-1865) Canadian politician, judge, humorist
Sam Slick’s Wise Saws and Modern Instances, Vol. 2 (1853)
Added on 12-Dec-14 | Last updated 12-Dec-14
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You may batter your way through the thick of the fray,
You may sweat, you may swear, you may grunt;
You may be a jack-fool, if you must, but this rule
Should ever be kept at the front:–
Don’t fight with your pillow, but lay down your head
And kick every worriment out of the bed.

Edmund Vance Cooke (1866-1932) Canadian poet
“Don’t Take Your Troubles to Bed”, l. 7 (1903)
Added on 5-Dec-14 | Last updated 5-Dec-14
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Don’t worry too much about the sailors’ seeing you get a little worried sometimes, one of his chief petty officers had told Geary when he was a lieutenant. That just tells them you’re smart enough to know when to worry. Don’t look too worried, or they’ll think you don’t know what to do. And, for the love of your ancestors, never look like you’re never worried. That’ll make the crew think you’re either an idiot or a fool. They know officers are human, and no human with half a brain is never worried. But as long as you seem to know what you’re doing, they’ll follow you.

John G. Hemry (contemp.) American naval officer, author [pseud. Jack Campbell]
The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Invincible (2012)
Added on 9-Jul-14 | Last updated 9-Jul-14
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If I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment (19 Sep 1777)

In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)
Added on 3-Jan-14 | Last updated 3-Jan-14
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Therefore, two bad habits must be forbidden, both the fear of the future and the memory of by-gone trouble; the latter no longer belongs to me, the former, not yet.

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Moral Letters to Lucilius [Epistulae morales ad Lucilium], letter 78, sec. 14
Added on 10-Sep-13 | Last updated 16-Jun-14
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It is said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) British Baptist preacher, author [Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon]
The Salt-Cellars (1889)
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Added on 27-Aug-13 | Last updated 1-Aug-18
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Most people today don’t want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing. They want a soft answer that turneth away anxiety. They want answers that are, in effect, escapes.

Louis Kronenberger (1904-1980) American critic, novelist, biographer
“Unbrave New World,” The Cart and the Horse (1964)

An allusion to Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath."
Added on 21-Nov-12 | Last updated 17-Nov-17
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When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
The Second World War, Vol. 2: Their Finest Hour, ch. 23 “September Tensions” (1949)
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Added on 4-Oct-10 | Last updated 25-Mar-19
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But banish care, it’s no time for it now — on with the dance, let joy be unconfined is my motto, whether there’s any dance to dance or any joy to unconfine ….

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
“The American Claimant,” ch. 2 (1892)
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See Byron.
Added on 17-Mar-10 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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Fortune is not on the side of the faint-hearted.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Phaedra, fragment 842

Also "Fortune never helps the fainthearted" [Fragments, l. 666]
Added on 23-Jun-08 | Last updated 17-Aug-16
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Worrying about something is like paying interest on a debt you don’t even know if you owe.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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