How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (Dale Carnegie)


What are the things you worry about right now? 
Whatever they are, your worries are keeping you from living. They are keeping you from being with your loved ones. They are keeping you from happiness and success. Do you want to spend your life worrying? Would you rather spend your life living?  
In this book, you will find effective ways to get rid of your worries. Do you often worry about the past? Do you often worry about the future? Sometimes, people worry so much that they forget about the present. Do you think you are getting the most out of life? 

Seize the Day

One spring day, there was a young medical student worrying about his future. Will he pass his final exams? Where would he go after school? How would he begin his career? The young medical student was reading a book when he found 21 words that inspired him. 
That young man came to be the most successful doctor of his generation. He led the famous John Hopkins medical school. He became a respected professor at Oxford University. He even became a knight of England. That young man was Sir William Osier. 
The 21 words that Sir William read were, “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” It means to focus on the task that we have right now instead of worrying about the future.

Sir William made a speech at Yale University. He encouraged the students to live in day-tight compartments. Imagine that you can lock the doors of your past. You can also shut the doors of your future. What you have left is today. 
Day-tight compartments mean to live one day at a time. Allow yourself to think about what you have to do at that very moment. Do not wander off to the past or the future. 
Sir William did not intend for people to stop preparing for the future. However, he did want them to turn all energy on today’s tasks. Do your best. Give it all you’ve got. By doing so, you will surely have a good future. 
“One grain of sand at a time, one task at a time” We are standing in the middle of our past and future. The past is a long history. The future is vast. We cannot live in all those possible times. It is a burden to dwell in the past and the future. The only time we can live in is today. 

Many people get sick because they worry too much. They suffer nervous breakdowns or extreme body pain. What we must do is think of tasks we have to do for today. That is, from the moment we wake up just until the time we sleep. The next morning, we should start fresh.
Why is it in our nature to disregard the present? We always dream about a better future that we do not appreciate the beautiful things happening to us today. 
When we were children, we dreamt about the time when we would grow up. When we are older, we dream of getting married. When we are married, we dream about retirement. When that day comes, we will realize how much we have lost. “Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.”
The old Roman saying, “Carpe Diem” means “Seize the day.” Wherever you are in your life right now, enjoy it. Live in it. Appreciate everything. Do not worry about the past or the future. Focus on what you must do in the present. 

The past will only burden you. Whatever regrets, whatever bad memories you have, put them all behind you. “The past is over and done with.” As for the future, there are many things that could happen. It will not help you to worry. Where are you right at this moment? Try to appreciate your life as it is right now.
Live one day at a time. Focus on your 24 hours. Make sure that you have spent your 24 hours in the best way that you can. Will you spend your 24 hours worrying? Will you use it to appreciate your career, your loved ones, and all the good things that you have right now? 
You will see that you get more out of life by taking it one day at a time. You can enjoy the moment, and you can focus on your task. As Sir William said, “I owe whatever success I have had to the power of settling down to the day’s work and trying to do it well, to the best of my ability, and letting the future take care of itself.”

I Learned to Stop Worrying by Watching my Wife Wash Dishes

Reverend William Wood suffered from intense stomach pains. He would often wake up at night because he could not bear the pain. His father died from stomach cancer. Reverend Wood was extremely worried that he also had the same disease. 
Reverend Wood went to the hospital to get examined. He was treated by a specialist. The doctor said his stomach X-ray results were clear. He prescribed medicines to help the reverend get some sleep. The doctor told him emotional stress was causing his stomach pain.  
The reverend was always busy. He was always pressured to finish his tasks. As a result, he could not relax. The reverend always felt hurried, tense, and anxious. His mind thought about a lot of things at the same time. Reverend Wood followed his doctor’s advice. He let go of some of his responsibilities. He began to rest every Monday. 

The reverend was clearing up his desk one day. He found notes and other pieces of paper that were not important anymore. One by one, the reverend tossed them in his trash can. Suddenly, the reverend had an idea. He could also crumple and throw away the problems he had yesterday. 
There was no use carrying the burdens of the past. It was better to crumple and toss them away like old notes. At another time, Reverend Wood saw his wife singing while washing the dishes. The reverend told himself, “Look, Bill, how happy your wife is. We have been married eighteen years, and she has been washing dishes all that time.”
The reverend thought that if his wife had worried about all the dishes she would have to wash through those years, she would not have agreed to marry him. Reverend William Wood realized that his wife did not mind because she only washed the dishes used that day. She did not worry about the dishes she needed to wash tomorrow. She did not think about the dishes she had cleaned yesterday. 

The reason the reverend got sick was that he was trying to accomplish everything at once. He was trying to do everything at the same time. He was trying to “wash today’s dishes, yesterday’s dishes, and dishes that weren’t even dirty yet.”
Reverend William Wood realized that he was terribly wrong. He always preached to people the right way to live, but he himself could not do it. Reverend Wood changed his routine. He slept better and was cured of his stomach pains.  
Remember to take one day at a time. If you carry a load of yesterday, today, and tomorrow all at once, your mind and body will suffer. Forget the past. If you work hard in the present, you don’t have to worry about your future. 

Time Solves A Lot of Things

Louis Montant Jr. felt like he had lost ten years of his life between the ages of 18 and 28. Louis thought he lost that time because he worried too much. He worried about his job, his family, his health, and his insecurities. Those years should have been the best years of his life, but he lost them all worrying. 
Louis was terrified of meeting new people. He developed an inferiority complex. His insecurities had swallowed him whole. Louis got rejected for all three jobs that he applied for. He did not have the confidence to tell the employers what he could do. 
One afternoon, something happened to him that changed him significantly. He met someone who had experienced more problems than he had. Yet, Louis noticed that the man was still very cheerful. That man’s name was Bill.

Bill lost all his money in 1929. It happened again in 1933. He also went bankrupt in 1937. Although he had faced many troubles, Bill did not break. He had many creditors and enemies, but he remained standing. Louis envied Bill. He wished that he could be as strong as him.
Bill shared his secret with Louis. He advised Louis that the next time he had a big problem, he should get a pencil and a sheet of paper. He must write down all the worries that were troubling him in detail. Then, keep the list inside one of his desk drawers. After two weeks, read it again. 
If what you wrote on the paper still troubles you, put it back in the drawer. Let it stay there for another two weeks. While your list remains inside your drawer, a lot of things may have happened to you. Some of your problems may have been solved without you noticing it. 

Bill said, “I have found that, if only I have patience, the worry that is trying to harass me will often collapse like a pricked balloon.” Louis remembered Bill’s advice. It helped him through a lot of things. 
We worry about many things every day. It is true that some of our problems are solved in time.  There is no use always worrying about it. The future brings many possibilities. Some of our worries have not even happened yet. There is a great chance that they will not happen. 

Five Methods I Use to Banish Worry

Professor William Phelps felt that his eyes were failing. After reading for a few minutes, his eyes would hurt so much. He could not look out of the window. It was like his eyes were being pricked by needles. Professor William was afraid that he had to stop teaching because of his condition. 
One day, he was invited to make a speech. The lights were so bright that Professor William had to constantly turn his eyes to the floor. When he started to address the students, he realized that the pain in his eyes went away. It remained that way for the 30 minutes of his speech. 
Professor William thought that his passion for teaching made him triumph over the pain. When his mind was occupied with something important to him, he would feel better. 

His love for teaching made Professor William enjoy and appreciate life. He started to live his day like it was his first and last. When he woke up in the morning, he looked forward to seeing his students. His enthusiasm helped him beat all pain and worries. That was the first method.
The second method Professor William did banish worry was reading a book. When you read a good book, you get absorbed in it, and your mind thinks of nothing else. The third method was physical activity. One time, Professor William was depressed. He pushed himself to do different activities.
He would play tennis in the morning. Then he would take a bath and eat lunch. In the afternoon, he would play golf. Sometimes, at night, he would also dance for hours. Professor William realized that as his body lost to sweat, his mind lost all worries and caused despair. 
The fourth method was to keep yourself away from pressure, rush, and hurry. Professor William received advice from Wilbur Cross, the former Governor of Connecticut. Mr. Cross told him, “Sometimes when I have too many things to do all at once, I sit down, relax, smoke my pipe for an hour, and do nothing.”

The fifth and last method Professor William did to banish worry was to remember that time and patience can solve all troubles. Whenever he had a problem, he tried to look at it differently. Professor William told himself, “Two months from now, I shall not be worried about this bad break, so why to worry about it now?”
Professor William shared useful tips on how we can lose worries. We can be worry-free by making our minds pre-occupied with activities. Resting or taking a break is also important. Even if we have plenty to do, it would be helpful to take short breaks. When we rest, we have more energy to do our tasks. 

How John D. Rockefeller Lived on Borrowed Time for Forty-five Years 

 At age 33, John D. Rockefeller, Sr. became a millionaire. His company Standard Oil became the largest monopoly when he was 43. However, he experienced a decline when he reached the age of 53. 
John D. should have been at his prime, but his overall health failed. The doctors said it was because of his lifestyle. John D. worried a lot about his business. 
He began to lose his hair. He became bald. He used to have a strong body build, but he became very thin. Even his skin was pale. John D. was always busy. He had no time for hobbies or rest. All he did was make money. He was always tense and pressured by his company. 

John D. always reminded himself that his success “might be only temporary.” His business partner George Gardner would invite him to go sailing, but John D. would never go. He stayed in the office even on weekends. 
He had no sense of humor. Everybody feared him. John D. did not see the good in human nature. Then, the day came when his monopoly failed. The rivals he had crushed fought back. The people abused by the oil company demanded change. 
John D’s health got worse. He could not sleep. He could not eat. The doctors confronted him with the truth. John D. must choose between the company and his health. If he did not retire, he would die at age 53. The cause of his death would be of constant fear, worry, and greed. 

John D. left his company. The doctors gave him three health rules to always follow. The first one was never to worry. John D. must avoid all causes of worry no matter what. The second was to take a rest. He should relax and do some exercise. He must make a habit of going outdoors. The third was to monitor his diet. He must eat the right amount of food.
John D. followed these rules that saved his life. He was supposed to die at 53, but he lived for another 45 years. He started playing golf. He learned a bit of gardening. He made friends with his neighbors. He also sang from time to time. 
The biggest change in John D’s life was that he began to care for other people. When he took his retirement, he had a lot of time to reflect. John D. realized that he could make many people happy with all the money he had. He stopped thinking about getting money. He started giving it away. 
John D. helped a small college by Lake Michigan. He saved it from foreclosure and invested millions in it. That small college became the University of Chicago. John D. also donated money to the schools of minorities like the Tuskegee College. 

There became a hookworm outbreak in the Southern U.S. All they needed was 50 cents to cure anyone infected by hookworm. John D. gave millions to stop the disease once and for all. That was the beginning of the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller Foundation is a worldwide organization aimed to fight ignorance and disease.
Rockefeller funded many researches. Scientists were able to come up with the miracle drug Penicillin because of John D’s help. The progress humanity has made against influenza, malaria, and tuberculosis have also been possible because of the Rockefeller Foundation.
John D. gave away his money. He also lost millions in the court cases for Standard Oil Company. While many people thought that he would be devastated, John D. was happy. He became content with his life. John D. stopped worrying. He started living. He lived up to 98 years old. 
We have seen in John D’s story how too much worrying can actually lead to death. When he stopped worrying, he became happy. John D is a good example of Carpe Diem. After being sick, John D realized that he must seize the day. 
Life is too short. Do not spend your days worrying. Instead, make the most out of every day. Maybe, you will also find happiness in helping others as John D. Rockefeller did. 


There was once an old parrot in a Pennsylvania hunting club. The old parrot lived in a cage hanging by the entrance. Every time someone entered, the old parrot would say, “One at a time, gentleman, one at a time.” Those were the only words he knew.
If you take things one at a time, you can focus. You can put in all your effort. Remember to disregard the past. Focus on the present. Focus on what is in front of you. What are your tasks today? Work hard. If you give your best effort, the future will “take care of itself.”
You have learned many ways to stop worrying in this book. You can choose what works best for you. I challenge you to apply what you have learned today. Carpe Diem, Seize the Day. Do not let this moment pass you by. Stop worrying and start living today. 

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