This book is about enhancing the life’ quality by fighting your natural tendencies of worry and anxiety. There are six most important concepts in the book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.
1. Focus on Present:
The first lesson is, Focus on today. This means to shut out your past & future and focus all your energy on the present moment.
We’re all fantasizing about some better future that’s just over a horizon rather than enjoying what’s at our doorstep. Realize that this day will never come again. Life is passing at incredible speed and today is your precious possession.
2. What’s the Worst That Might Happen?
Start questioning yourself, what’s worst that might possibly happen. It’s the mistake of a fool to worry about something that isn’t analyzed yet. So, instead to question yourself what is worst that might probably happen was definitely worst.
Now, come to the terms with it, accept it, except that it’s gonna happen and finally improve upon. Once you accept a worst possible outcome, there’s nowhere to go but up all. From then on, you can work on it, improve it and thus no reason to worry.
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3. Don’t Sweat Small Stuff:
Don’t let the insignificant stuff get you down. In the book, this lesson is most perfectly portrayed in a story of Robert Moore, while in a submarine nearing end of the World War II. So, American submarine went to attack a Japanese minelayer. When the minelayer started heading straight for them, it detected them. So, they sunk to 270 feet and tried to go undetected almost immediately after depth charges started exploding right around them threatening to blow their submarine to pieces. The exploding depth charges went-on for 15 hours.
During all this, Robert was so terrified, he could hardly breathe. He kept saying to himself, this is death. His complete life rushed before his eyes. In retrospect, you realized that he used to worry all the time that he was not able to buy nice clothes or buy a new car. Having stressed because he reviled his boss or other similar trifles. He said a year ago, how big all these worries seemed but how ridiculous they seemed when the depth charges were threatening to blow me to the kingdom come. I promised to myself then & there, if I ever saw the Sun and stars again I would never worry again!
For we often faced major aspects of life bravely and then carried on to let the trivialities get us depressed. Lesson: do not sweat with small stuff, hurry on this earth with little time left. We end up worrying about grievances that in a year’s time will be forgotten.
Let’s devote our own life to the worthwhile actions & feelings. For life, it’s too much short to be little.
4. Law of Averages:
Start asking yourself, what’s the possibility that this event I am anxious about will actually happen? For most of the events, we worry about are highly unlikely.
When Carnegie was a kid, he used to worry about being buried alive or being hit by lightning. I loved averages is there any actual purpose to be worrying about these events.
First of all, a probability of getting hit by lightning is approximately 1 in 1 million chances. Therefore, there’s not any need to worry about these things. There’s next to no chance that they’re ever gonna ensue so just stop being anxious about them. The future is nearly terrible to predict we have almost no clue what events will happen tomorrow. So, why worry about them.
5. Stop Fretting Over the Past:
All often, we incessantly think about past situations. As if we think we, can change them. Past is done, it’s over, you can do nothing about it, so calmly analyze and learn from past mistakes and then move on to the next thing. We ought to stopover our mental patterns that are founded on the assumptions, that we may somehow improve the past by thinking about it.
6. Count your Blessings:
Be appreciative of what you have rather than what you don’t have. So, there’s always something to be gratified for it. No matter what here’s a short little quote to back it up:
“I had blues because I had no shoes until, upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.” – Denis Waitley
This habit will naturally make you happier. Just remember to count blessings rather than your troubles.
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