Initially published in 1948, I must admit that I was a little sceptical on the applicability and content of this book. However, after finishing it, I have realised why this has remained such a classic for so long and definitely deserves a place on my ever-growing bookshelf.
Book summaries are based on my own opinion and the content which I felt personally applicable and useful for me. It might differ a little for everyone so I do advise getting your hands on the book itself as you might uncover other hidden nuggets of wisdom which might be beneficial for yourself.
- Good thinking deals with causes and effects, which leads to logical, constructive planning. Whereas, bad thinking frequently leads to tensions and nervous breakdowns.
- When worrying about a problem: Ask yourself the following: What is the worst that can possibly happen? Prepare to accept the worst-case scenario if you have to. Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst outcome which you have already mentally agreed to accept.
- “Half the worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions before they have sufficient knowledge on which to base a decision.” Tips to assist in arriving at a decision include: Gathering facts, analysing, understanding facts and ultimately arriving at a decision and acting on that decision.
- Writing down your troubles helps much in clarifying them. Write the following about your problems: What am I worried about? What can I do about it? Deciding what to do and starting immediately to carry out that decision.
- Problem-solving: What is the problem? What is the cause of the problem? What are ALL the possible solutions to the problem? Pick the best solution out of all possible solutions.
- Keep busy. Although in this day of the hustle and bustle, “The worried person must lose him/herself in action lest be wither in despair.” AKA: Keep yourself occupied by doing something productive or beneficial for your growth.
- “Life is too short to belittle and to be upset by trivial things we should forget about.” Do the issues occurring now affect or matter to you in the next 5 minutes, days, months, years, and so on?
- Let’s ask ourselves: “What are the chances, according to the law of averages, that this event I am worrying about will ever occur?” Where the law of averages = the supposed principle that future events are likely to turn out so that they balance any past deviation from a presumed average.
- If something is inevitable, unavoidable or out of your control, forget the worry and accept the outcome. E.g., Death
- So why waste the tears? Of course, we have all been guilty of blunders and absurdities. So what? Who has not? AKA: What has happened, happened. You can’t change the past, but you can change your future.
- Our mental attitude is the factor that determines our fate. “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
- Eight words that can determine your destiny: “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” When faced with difficulties, assume a positive attitude instead of a negative one.
- Concern VS Worry: Concern = Realising what the problems are and calmly taking steps to meet them. Worry = Going around in futile circles.
- “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.”
- When we try to seek revenge to get even with our enemies, we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them. Never waste a minute thinking about people we don’t like.
- “An angry man is always full of poison.”
- Gratitude is a cultivated trait and must be trained. The way of happiness is to not expect gratitude but to help or give for the joy of it.
- “All the days of our years we have been living in a fairyland of beauty, but we have been too blind to see, too satiated to enjoy.” AKA: Count your blessings and not your troubles.
- Find yourself and be yourself, there is no-one else on earth like you. Avoid misery on yourself by avoiding fitting a pattern which you don’t conform to.
- Instead of indulging in self-pity, learn from your mistakes or misfortunes. Train your mind to think of turning a minus into a plus.
- Forget yourself by becoming interested in others. Do every day a good deed that will put joy on someone’s face.
- “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”
- Very often, when you are being criticised unreasonably, it is because it gives the other party a feeling of importance. It usually means that others are jealous that you are accomplishing something worthy of their attention to belittle you.
- Many people get a sense of satisfaction for denouncing those who are better or more successful than them.
- To improve continuously, since we can’t hope to be perfect, learn to ask for honest, helpful and constructive criticism.
- Fatigue often produces worry, to prevent fatigue and worry: rest often and rest before you get tired. AKA: “Resting is the most underrated life hack.”
- Emotional exertion usually has far more to do with producing worry, frustration and resentment, compared to physical exertion.
- If you enjoy what you are doing, you may work long hours, but it won’t seem like work at all. It will look like play.
- “A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.”
- Stay out of work or activities where the chances are only one out of ten of being able to make a living.
- Ask individuals or friends working in the industry you are interested in joining to obtain further information before deciding to devote your life to it.
- Problems which leads to financial worries:
- Lack of tracking and keeping tabs on your expenses
- No budget set in place or living out of your budget
- Not spending money wisely
- Lifestyle inflation (In the long run, would you choose to live within a tight budget and having unnecessary debts?)
- No insurance or protection against illness, emergencies etc…
- No responsibility for money (Not managing your personal finances)
- No passive or alternate sources of income
- Gambling (Why bother playing when the odds, machines and games are already created or rigged against the player)
Grab the book: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Dale Carnegie
Phew! What an exhaustive list, I hope you found this useful as much as I did. Now on the next book and I’m open to recommendations for more books, do drop me a list or message if anyone has any exciting books on their read-list to share.