“Don’t waste your time worrying. Worry is not preparation. Analyze the situation and focus on solutions. There is always an answer.”
Wally Amos, Famous Amos Cookies
Wally Amos is often hailed as the father of the gourmet cookie industry. But his road to success has included many a rocky patch and many a pitfall. He’s turned lemons into lemonade so many times in his life that in his official company portrait, he holds a pitcher in one hand and a glass of lemonade in the other.
A zealous optimist, Amos refuses to acknowledge the power of obstacles he encounters and to see them as anything other than stepping stones to success. In his decades-long career, he’s made it to the pinnacle of success several times, only to lose everything and be forced to start over. But each time, he picked himself up: No matter what the circumstances, he never, ever gave up or lost faith or let himself cling to a situation that was proving unworkable. As he once said, “You have the trust and faith to let go and not agonize.” His resilience has inspired many people in all walks of life. As writers, we can learn a lot from his perseverance and his can-do approach to problem-solving:
“Don’t waste your time worrying” — In Wally’s view, worry is completely counterproductive: It drains energy and distracts you. It keeps you from igniting your ingenuity and doesn’t bring results, only more angst. Simple advice, but not easy.
Don’t despair, prepare — As Amos says so well, “Worry is not preparation.” In a tough situation, whatever the circumstances at hand, the most fruitful response isn’t worry, but preparation: mobilizing yourself for action so you can more forward in an informed,
intelligent, decisive way.
“Analyze the situation” — Shift quickly from worry mode into “what’s next” mode. Bring objectivity and research skills to the table. Scope out your options, marshal your resources, reach out for help, get creative, brainstorm, push the boundaries of the problem until it
yields its hidden assets.
“Focus on solutions” — Instead of getting angsty, get artsy! Challenge yourself to come up with as many solutions to the problem as you can. As Rob Gilbert says on his wonderful Success Hotline (973.743.4690), “Don’t get frustrated, get fascinated” — let the problem or obstacle ignite your ingenuity.
“Have the trust and faith to let go” — If something’s really not working, don’t cling to it mindlessly. Have the courage and faith to let go — to release it and move on.
Advice to embrace and put into action as we all write on!