In the Lord of the Rings, Denethor is a leader who discovers a magic seeing stone that helps him see exactly what the enemy is up to.
He’s fascinated by watching all of their carefully laid plans and the growing size of their armies. It’s all he can think about.
Finally when the enemy declares war, he immediately gives up, knowing (believing) that the battle is lost. The enemy is way too strong!
He’s spent his time focusing on problems, not on solutions and comes to a fairly grim end (read the books!).
As a business leader, you must develop the habit of forcing your mind to action-oriented solutions that you can implement immediately, not meditating on the depth of the problems you face.
This is a discipline that doesn’t come naturally to most of us. When you hit a problem that makes you feel sick at heart, spend no time reflecting on it. Think of what you can do to fix it, and start immediately. Put the negative emotions behind you.
Dwelling on those negative feelings makes you feel terrible, and also keeps you from putting your energy where it should go – fixing the problem.
So focus on solutions and learn from Denethor and remember the maxim:
Worrying is praying for everything you don’t want.