How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
In the early days, Dale Carnegie (November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) made a living teaching adult classes in New York night schools. He realized that one of the biggest problems for these adults was worry. He wrote his book reading what philosophers of all ages have said about worry. He also read hundreds of biographies, from Confucius to Churchill. According to him, we will not find anything new in his book, but we will find many things that generally do not apply in our daily lives.
Carnegie wrote his book in eight parts. Let’s go over all of them, and for the purpose of this article, I’ll share a story, each taken from each Part.
PART I: Key Facts You Should Know About Concern
For this story, it was given the subtitle as “Living in an airtight compartment”. Just live every day until bedtime.
It was about a Michigan housewife who had lost her husband to illness. I was very depressed and almost penniless. He then wrote to his former employer and got his job back selling World Books to rural and urban school boards. She thought that getting back on the road would help ease her depression; but driving alone and eating alone was almost more than she could bear. He discovered that the schools were bad and the roads were in bad shape. It seemed that success was impossible.
Then one day she read an article that encouraged her and gave her the courage to continue living. There was an inspiring phrase that said: “Every day is a new life for a sage.” He typed it up and pasted it on the windshield of his car, where he could see it every minute while driving. Since then, she told herself, “Today is a new life.”
He had managed to overcome his fear of loneliness and his fear of misery. She was happy and quite successful then and had a lot of enthusiasm and love for life. Then he knew that he could live one day at a time.
PART II: Basic Techniques for Analyzing Worry
It was an insurer. When he started selling insurance, he was filled with boundless enthusiasm and love for his job. Then something happened. He became so discouraged that he despised his job and thought about quitting. Then one Saturday morning, he sat down and tried to get to the root of his worries. He began to ask himself the following questions:
What was the problem?
He wasn’t getting high enough returns for the staggering number of phone calls he made.
What was the cause of the problem?
He did pretty well selling a prospect, until it was time to close a sale. Then the customer would say, “Well, I’ll think about it, sir. Come see me again.” The time wasted on these follow-up calls that were causing her depression.
What were all the possible solutions?
He checked his logbook for the last twelve months and studied the figures carefully. Made an amazing discovery! He found that 70% of his sales had been closed in the first interview! Another 23% of their sales were closed in the second interview. And another 7% had closed in that third, fourth, fifth, etc., interviews. He concluded that he was wasting half his workday on a part of his business that was responsible for only seven percent of his sales.
What was the best solution?
She made a quick decision that she would immediately cut off all visits beyond the second interview and spent the extra time creating new leads.
PART III: How to Break the Worry Habit Before It Breaks You
This part of the book asked us to use the Law of Averages to prohibit our worries.
During one summer, a couple went camping in the Touquin Valley of the Canadian Rockies, about two thousand meters above sea level. One night a storm threatened to tear his tent apart. The outer tent shook and trembled and screamed and screeched in the wind. The wife was terrified and waited every minute to see her tent ripped apart and thrown into the sky.
Yet her husband kept saying, “Look dear, we are traveling with the Brewsters guides. They know what they are doing. They have been pitching tents in these mountains for sixty years. This tent has been here for many seasons. Not yet. it has collapsed and, according to the law of averages, it will not fly tonight, and even so, we can take shelter in another tent. So relax … “The wife did; and slept soundly the rest of the night.
We should ask ourselves, “What are the chances, according to the law of averages, that a particular event that concerns us will ever occur?”
PART IV: Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Mind That Will Bring You Peace and Happiness
We need to understand this important rule: instead of worrying about ingratitude, let’s hope so.
A businessman in Texas felt bitter that his thirty-four employees did not say “Thank you” after receiving a bonus of approximately $ 300 each for Christmas.
According to Carnegie, instead of wallowing in resentment and self-pity, that man might have wondered why he didn’t get any recognition. Maybe you underpaid and overworked your employees. Perhaps they considered a Christmas voucher not a gift, but something they had earned. Perhaps he was so critical and unapproachable that no one dared or bothered to thank him. Maybe they felt he gave them the bonus because most of the proceeds went to taxes anyway.
On the other hand, maybe the employees were selfish, mean, and rude. It can be this or it can be that. According to Carnegie, this man made the human and harrowing mistake of expecting gratitude. He just didn’t know human nature.
PART V: The Perfect Way to Conquer Worries
Carnegie wrote in his book that one day when his father returned from Maryville, where the banker had threatened to foreclose, he stopped his horses on a bridge that crossed a river, got out of the car, and stared down for a while. the water, debating with himself if he should jump in and finish it all.
Years later, Carnegie Sr. told her that the only reason she did not jump was because of her mother’s deep, constant, joyous belief that if we loved God and kept His commandments, everything would work out. Mother was right. Everything worked out in the end. My father lived forty-two more happy years and died in 1941, at the age of eighty-nine.
PART VI: How to Avoid Worrying About Criticism
A national sensation in educational circles was created by an event that occurred in 1929. Scholarly men and women from all over the Americas rushed to Chicago to witness the matter. A few years earlier, a young man named Robert Hutchins had made his way to Yale, acting as a waiter, lumberjack, tutor, and clothesline salesman. Now, just eight years later, he was being inaugurated as president of America’s fourth-richest university, the University of Chicago. He was only thirty years old. Amazing! Critics roared down on this “boy wonder” like a rockfall. Even the newspapers joined the attack.
On the day he took office, a friend told Robert Maynard Hutchins’ father: “I was surprised this morning when I read the editorial in that newspaper denouncing your son.”
“Yes,” replied the older of the Hutchins, “it was severe, but we must remember that no one kicks a dead dog.”
Yes, and the more important a dog is, the more satisfaction people get from kicking it.
Carnegie added that when you are kicked or criticized, remember that it is often done because it gives the kicker a sense of importance. It often means that you are accomplishing something and that it is worthy of attention. Many people take great satisfaction in denouncing those who are better educated or more successful than they are.
PART VII: 6 Ways to Prevent Fatigue and Worry and Keep Your Energy and Spirit High
Dale Carnegie listed the following six ways in his book:
Rest before you get tired; Learn to relax at work; Learn to relax at home; Apply good work habits (clear your desk of all papers except those related to the immediate problem; do things in the order of their importance; when faced with a problem, solve it now if you have the data necessary to do a decision; and learn to organize, delegate and supervise); To avoid worry and fatigue, put enthusiasm in your work; y Remember that no one died from lack of sleep. It is the concern about insomnia that causes the damage, not the insomnia itself. If you can’t sleep, get up and work or read until you feel sleepy.
PART VIII: “How I Conquered Worry”
In this last part of the book, Carnegie wrote 31 true stories. In this review, I would choose a story, titled “I lived in the Garden of Allah.” It was an English gentleman from a wealthy family in Great Britain. After leaving the British Army in the early 20th century, he went to Northwest Africa and lived with the Arabs in the Sahara, the Garden of Allah.
There he lived for seven years, learned to speak the language of the nomads, dressed their clothes, ate their food and adopted their way of life, which has changed very little over the past centuries. He also did a detailed study of religion, Islam and in fact later wrote a book on Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, entitled “The Messenger”.
He noted that nomads take life so calmly and never rush or get unnecessarily angry when things go wrong. They know that what is ordered is ordered; and no one but Allah can alter anything. However, that does not mean that in the face of disaster, they sit down and do nothing. This is illustrated below.
One day there was a fierce and fiery sirocco windstorm in the Sahara. He howled and screamed for three days and three nights. It was so strong, so fierce, that it hurled sand from the Sahara hundreds of miles across the Mediterranean and scattered it over the Rhone Valley in France. But the Arabs did not complain. They shrugged and said, “Mektoub!” which means “It was written”.
But immediately after the storm ended, they went into action, slaughtering all the lambs because they knew they would die anyway. After the lambs were slaughtered, the flocks were led south to the water. All of this was done calmly, without worry, without complaining or regretting their losses. The tribal chief said, “It wasn’t so bad. We could have lost everything. But praise Allah, we have forty percent of our sheep left to start over.”
Several years after leaving the Sahara, he still maintains that happy resignation to the inevitable that he had learned from the Arabs. That philosophy has helped calm his nerves more than a thousand sedatives could have accomplished.
In our day to day, in the fight against worry, I believe in the principle of “Worry less about what others think, say and do”.