A stitch in time definitely saves nine. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But that’s easier to say in hindsight – to see what you should have stitched, should have prevented. How do you find those opportunities before you need nine stitches and a pound of cure?
You need pattern recognition. And you need to never, ever worry.
I once saw an insect crawling around in my house – an insect that wasn’t a problem, but if there were a few hundred more, it would be. I took the friend I was hanging out with and went to the store for a few traps and sprays to make a defensive perimeter. I remember my friend asking me: “Why are you so worried about one bug?”
The question struck me as very odd. I wasn’t worried at all. I wasn’t worried because I was doing something about it far ahead of when it would be desperately necessary.
That’s exactly how you avoid being worried, in fact. You worry about things outside of your control. But things that are outside of your control very often grew from things that were under your control (or could have been) earlier in time, and you just didn’t know it, see it, or act on it.
Some people seem to think that “not worrying about something” is equivalent to “don’t take any actions to prevent problems.” Reactive mode only. But to me, that seems like a perfect formula to increasing your worry – by a lot.
So try this. Any time you see something that might cause you to worry and you find yourself saying “Eh, it’s just one bug, don’t worry about it” – listen to the part that says “don’t worry.” But don’t let that tell you to ignore the event. An ounce of worry prevention is worth a pound of worry cure.