How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Dale Carnegie
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living - Book Cover
By Dale Carnegie

Why Read This Book?

This book is one of the classic self-help books that focuses on one of the biggest leading causes of illness, worry. Even though Carnegie wrote the book in the 1940s, and the examples that he gives might seem a bit old, the key points are timeless.

“Our thoughts make us what we are.”
 
– Dale Carnegie.
 

This book can help you if:

  • You want to stop obsessing about time worrying about the past and the future.

  • You want to objectively examine a situation and fix it.

  • You want to change your mindset to be happier in your life.

  • You want to avoid fatigue.

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Short Summary

In a nutshell: this book helps you to reduce stress and worry about your daily life and different issues that you encounter.

Through 7 sections:

1. Fundamental facts you need to know about worry.

In essence, Carnegie uses this first part of his book to give you some easy tools that you can use to avoid worrying about the future. Because most of the people worry in one way or another about their future, taking care of your present life and making it as good as possible for yourself, will create a sort of safety net for yourself and feeling more relaxed about what will happen.

2. Basic techniques to analyze worry.

a. How can you analyze worry?

  • Get all the facts.
  • Once you have all the necessary elements, make a decision.
  • Once you made that decision, act.

b. To help you clarify the situation you can ask yourself:

  • ​What is the issue?
  • What is the cause of this problem?
  • What are the different solutions?
  • What would be the best solution?

If you are in a professional meeting with colleagues and are struggling to find a solution, these steps might help you as well.

3. How to break the worry habit before it gets to you.

  • Keep yourself busy (my note: to a certain extent, sometimes it is best to talk about what is going on or take some rest rather than overdo things and mess everything. However, hiding under your duvet for days because you don’t want to confront yourself with what is really going on, is not the best solution. In that case, action might bring more results.)
  • Don’t let small things get in your way.
  • Look at the situation objectively, through numbers for instance: what are the chances that such a scenario really happens?
  • Some things that you can’t change are not worth worrying about.
  • Put a limit to your worry: after a certain time, it’s time to move on.
  • Worrying about the past is useless, it won’t bring you any good changes. If there is really something that makes you emotional, then talk about it when you need to heal the wound and then move on.

4. 7 ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will give you peace and happiness.

  • Think and act to make yourself happy.
  • Don’t waste time thinking about people you don’t like, it will only cost you energy and time.
  • Don’t expect gratitude from others, and you won’t be disappointed anymore.
  • Count your blessings instead of your troubles.
  • Be yourself and don’t try to imitate others, it won’t help.
  • Give your best with what you have.
  • Help others, it will help yourself.

5. The perfect way to conquer worry.

In one sentence: having faith by believing in a greater being, will help you to worry less and believe in yourself.

6. How to keep from worrying about criticism.

  • Unfair criticism is often a compliment as it probably means that you raise envy.
  • You’ll be criticized anyway, so grow a thinker skin.
  • Criticize yourself first before asking for more criticism: it’s the best way to learn and grow.

7. 6 ways to avoid fatigue and worry while keeping your energy and mindset high.

  • Make time for yourself to rest more during the day and/or the night.
  • At work: clear your desk, keep your things in order.
  • At home: keep a clean and organized house, it will give more space for your emotions and thoughts to be.

Review

By reading this book and learning about worry, I:

  • Became more rational and less emotional about what happens in my life.

  • Let go of the past and focus less on the future.

  • Learned quick techniques to deal with worry in different situations.

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How to Stop Worrying and Start Living - Book Cover
By Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie (1892-1955) was an American author and lecturer, and the developer of courses in self-improvement, public speaking, salesmanship, interpersonal skills, and corporate training. Born in a poor family living on a farm in Missouri, Carnegie also became the author of well-known books as How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) or How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948) among others.