How To Stop Worrying And Start Living
By: Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” describes several ways to deal with worry, one of the leading causes of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, stomach ulcers and high blood pressure. Carnegie delivers several tactics and backs them up with case studies. He believed that the best way to change others is to change oneself, a principle that underpinned most of the ideas in his evergreen bestseller How To Win Friends And Influence People, which has sold over 30 million copies to date. Following is a summary of the book.
Part One. Fundamental Facts You Should Know About Worry – Dale Carnegie quotes William Osler to make this simple point: To care less about worries, start caring more about your present tasks and goals. Because most people worry about the future, but the best way to have a good future is to do a good job now. So, make your life more compartmentalized and deal with each single compartment one by one. Carnegie recommends readers to associate lots of pain to your worrying ways that changing becomes a must. This is an NLP technique that Tony Robbins discusses at length. More techniques Carnegie recommends: Ask yourself what’s the worst that can possibly happen if you cannot solve the problem that makes you so worried. Accept mentally the worst-case scenario and be OK with it. Work to improve the worst-case scenario: you can only get better from there
Part Two. Basic Techniques in Analyzing Worry – First of all, get all the facts. Once you have all the information you need, make a decision. Once you have a decision, it’s time to act on it. No worries, no sweating, just action (read The Obstacle Is The Way for that mindset). Dale Carnegie also talks about the top insurance salesman in the country. He wasn’t always at the top though and was struggling until he asked himself the following questions: A Simple Set of Questions to Eliminate Worry. Frank Bettger, one of the top insurance salesmen in America, used these questions to reduce his worries and multiply his income. Early in his career Bettger began to despise his work and felt discouraged. He was working too much and was burning out. Frank was always either in meetings or calling out prospects and wasn’t having much success at all. Then, one day, he wrote down and answered these questions:
What is the problem?
What is the cause of the problem?
What are all the possible solutions?
What is the best solution?
Part Three. How to Break the Worry Habit Before It Breaks You – Stay busy: no free time, no time to worry (my note: don’t do this as Brene Brown explains). Don’t allow small things to get in your way. Understand numbers: chances of catastrophic events are slim. What you cannot change is not worth worrying about. Put a stop loss order in your life: after a certain threshold, you move and that’s it. Stop worrying about the past. It’s useless
Part Four. A Mental Attitude for Peace and Happiness – Think and act joyfully and you’ll be joyful. Thinking about what we don’t like is poisonous: don’t waste a minute with people you don’t like. Don’t expect gratitude and you will not be disappointed by the lack of it. Focus and count your blessings, not your troubles. Be yourself and don’t try to copy others. Do the best with your losses. Profit from them. When life give you lemons, make a lemonade. Help others to help yourself.
Part Five. The Perfect Way to Conquer Worry – Dale Carnegie suggests that believing in a greater being, in God, and praying, is a great antidote for worry.
Part Six. How to Keep from Worrying About Criticism – Unfair criticism is often a compliment: it means you have raised envy. Grow a thicker skin: you’ll be criticized anyway. Your job is to do your best, not to avoid criticism. Criticize yourself first and then ask for more criticism: it’s the best way to grow.
Part Seven. How to Prevent Fatigue and Worry And Keep Energy And Spirits High – Rest is important, says Carnegie. Churchill took two naps a day during WWII. Make sure you get enough rest as well.
In summary, stop worrying and start living by: using a 3-step approach to deal with confusion and you’ll eliminate the worry caused by it, put a stop-loss on stress and grief, and take criticism as compliments.