What Johnny Cash Can Teach Us About Worrying

Do you keep a to do list? If so, you have something in common with Johnny Cash.

In December 2010, one of Johnny Cash’s to-do list sold at auction for $6,250.

Johnny cash to do list

It is fun to see the things he had on his list. Some are funny, like “pee.” Some are surprising, like “practice piano.” I guess even the great ones need to be reminded to practice their craft (and go to the bathroom).

What stood out to me was #8 “worry.”

I can’t be sure why Cash put worry on his list of things to do, so I am going to speculate for a minute. Suppose Cash knew that in the course of his day it would be inevitable that he would worry about something. By adding “worry” to his to do list, he may have been creating a preemptive strike.

He wasn’t going to let worry creep up on him. He was going to schedule it into his day and then be done. Maybe he thought that if he had it on his to do list, it would be easier to check it off and move on to something more important, like visiting his mother.

Again, I don’t know why “worry” was on his list, anymore than I know why “cough” was on the list. But maybe, just maybe, Cash was telling himself to worry about today, today and save tomorrow’s worries for tomorrow.

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