Dale Carnegie is the author behind this great book “How To Stop Worrying and Start Living”. I first picked up this book several years ago when I was undergoing so much stress in my life.
I was running a web design company and at the time I wasn’t earning that much money. I had a lot of bills to pay and I wasn’t sure where I was going to earn money. My relationship with my girlfriend was deteriorating and I had to make some serious life changes.
I used to wake up at 4am drenched in sweat with panic attacks. I even was admitted to hospital because of the amount of pressure I was going through.
It was then I remembered the principals of Dale Carnegie’s book “How To Stop Worrying and Start Living” that it all came back to me.
This book helped me cope through life’s challenges and I hope it can help you too.
How To Stop Worrying and Start Living
The book contains so much practical information and wisdom that I highly recommend for you to read this several times throughout your life.
As we become more successful, you’ll find that your problems won’t disappear. They will simply transform into something else. You may move into a bigger house, own a nicer car, working in a higher demanding job or in a more complicated relationship.
Your problems will be different and worry and fear will always creep up. It’s important to manage this worry and fear and in this video therefore I’ll share with you 3 principals from Dale Carnegie’s book.
Principle #1 – Live in Day Tight Compartments
Dale Carnegie suggests that our worries tend to begin when we have so much on our minds. We worry about the future, what happened in the past and what is happening right now.
If we do this, xyz will happen and I will be hurt.
If she left me, then I will be alone and despondent.
If my business failed, I’ll be thrown out on the street.
If I get fired, I won’t be able to keep up with the bills and lose my house.
All these worries stem from a belief that it will happen. Although these things can happen, you can never 100% guarantee that you can prevent it.
What has happened in the past has happened and you can never change it. The future hasn’t happened yet and there’s no point in trying to control it.
The only thing you have right now is now.
If you take care of today, you don’t need to worry about the tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself. Therefore, it’s important to stay focused on the present and not think about the past and the future.
Keep the past where it should be, in the past. Keep the future where it should be, in the future. But don’t let them interact wth the present.
Hence we should all live in day tight compartments.
Principle #2 – The Hourglass
One of my favourite analogies in the book is the hourglass. When you turn over an hourglass, one by one, each grain of sand will pass through the middle of the hour glass. Then over a short period of time, the entire sand at the top of the glass has fallen to the bottom and we repeat the process.
What would happen if we tried to cram as much sand into the small neck of the glass?
It would break.
The neck of the glass can only handle 1 grain of sand at a time. Same goes with your life.
No matter how many things you have to do, it may look overwhelming and impossible to complete them all. You may be tempted to cram has much as you can into a short period of time. However, just like the hour glass, if you tried to cram as much as you can, you will break.
You will become sick, stressed out and mentally exhausted. Therefore, if you’re ever going through so much adversity with a mountain of things to do.
Always remember the hourglass. Take it one grain of sand at a time.
This one analogy helped me get through so much adversity in my life.
I remember a period of my life when I had so much pressure from all sides. I had so many bills to pay, I didn’t have any money, I had no income and I was days away from losing my house. I wanted to give up but I remembered the hour glass.
So then I wrote down a list of all the things I needed to do and every single day, I made sure I focused on completing that one task and not think about the future.
I focused on one task at a time and eventually, I got myself out of that mess.
Take it one grain of sand at a time.
Principle #3 – Accept the worst
One way to manage stress and worry is by training yourself to accept the worst that may happen. For example, many people fear of losing their jobs and not being able to pay the bills.
This is a valid fear and no one likes to be thrown out onto the streets. By having this fear, you do things differently. You hold onto your job and not take any risks that may contain greater reward.
Another example would be if someone had left you or your got your heart broken. If this happened, you worry you’ll become alone and no one will love you.
By learning to face your fears and accepting the worst, you get a better perspective of the situation and fear dissipates.
If you were to lose your job or your business and can’t pay your bills, you may have to move back in with your parents. Yes you’ll be humiliated, you’ll feel a sense of loss and failure and you’ll start over again.
But at least your mom will be happy that you’re back sleeping on her couch. I know I’ve done that.
If you find her one night that she’s been cheating on you and hooking up with her co-worker, you’ll be destroyed and can’t trust anyone again. But at least you’ll have another chance at finding someone better and more loyal to you.
One of my favourite ways in dealing with life’s challenges is to keep life in perspective. We tend to hold onto things and fear loss. We fear losing things.
However if you think about it, we are going to lose everything at the end anyway. When we die, depending on your age, it could be 30-40 years from now.
You’re going to lose everything anyway so there’s no point in thinking you’ll own everything forever. Learn to accept the worst.
Finally I would like to leave you a great quote from Dale Carnegie.
“Every day is a new life to a wise man.” – Dale Carnegie