How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Book Review

If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about riches they do possess, they would stop worrying. ~ Dale Carnegie

Worry is a habit that can lead to unhappiness and lack of fulfilment in life. We worry about daily problems like people, decision, work, relationships, finances, school…name it, and we worry about it.  A consequence of worrying is that it keeps us from enjoying our life.  It makes us ungrateful and unhappy.  It blocks our ability to have fun and appreciate what we do and have.

I, personally, tend to worry a lot too.  But in my desire to develop my personality and emotional maturity, I can see how much has changed with my “worry habit”. Now I’m less worried and able to better control my emotion. Although I still strive to keep on improving it.

One of the useful book I’ve read on conquering worry and be more positive in life was the book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.  I’ve first bought and read the book in 2010, when I was deciding if I will continue doing the job that I don’t like, or pursue my goal of becoming an entrepreneur.  Back in those days, I had a job that was seen as prestigious, plus the salary and benefits were very rewarding.  However, there was one problem; I was beginning to see opportunities in owning and managing my own business. I felt I was changing my attitude and personality.  I was becoming more unconventional and open-minded.  Such openness and non-traditional ways of thinking was already affecting my attitude towards my job and accounting profession because it requires me to follow system and rules.  Imagine how frustrated and worried I felt waking up in the morning going to work when I knew it wasn’t right for me, or I wasn’t the right person for the job.  But I couldn’t just give up the job because I was worried with how it will affect my family, who were so happy and proud because I had that prestigious job.  The situation started my worries on how to handle and decide on my career.  The book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, has helped me overcome the worry habit and handle the situation better.

I was again reminded about this book when I’ve attended Dale Carnegie Course last October 2011.  The principles included in the book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, were incorporated as part of the course.

About the Book

The book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, deals with fundamental emotions and ideas.  Dale Carnegie’s proven techniques have helped millions to adopt new mental attitudes that lead to security and happiness, teaching them to break the worry habit forever.

The inspirational and practical teachings in this book are as sounds today as when they were written back in 1949.  It’s a time tested classic that can help anyone how to conquer worry to begin living a richer and happier life.

Principles from ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living?’

The book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, will teach you 28 principles of breaking the worry habit.  These principles were divided in the book into 7 parts, plus a bonus chapter on real life stories of people who shared their lessons and experiences on how they were able to conquer worry.

In this review article, I will enumerate the 7 parts of the book and mention 1 principle that struck me most in each part, and why.  But in order for you to learn and start conquering your worry habit, I advise you also get a copy of the book and start reading it.

Part 1: Fundamental Facts You Should Know About Worry

          Principle 1 – Live in “day-tight compartments”

The first principle teaches us that in order to conquer worry, we have to learn how to live in the present.  Stop worrying about the past and the future, be in the present and live it.

Part 2: Basic Techniques in Analyzing Worry

          Principle 4 – how to analyze and solve worry problems

The principle present three basic steps of problem analysis: get the facts, analyze the facts and arrive at a decision – and then act on that decision.

Part 3: How to Break the Worry Habit Before It Breaks You

        Principle 9 – Cooperate with the inevitable

The principle states that acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.  You can overcome any worry or fear if you force yourself to accept an inevitable situation.

Part 4: Seven Ways to Cultivate a Mental Attitude that Will Bring You Peace and Happiness

           Principle 17: If you have a lemon, make a lemonade

The principle teaches us to see the bright side or opportunity from every setbacks or adversity.  Remember the most important thing in life is not to capitalize on your gain. Any fool can do that.  The really important thing is to profit from your losses. That requires intelligence, and it makes the difference between a man of sense and a fool.

Part 5: The Perfect Way to Conquer Worry

Principle 19: Pray

The principle state if all course is done and you still can’t fight your worry, why not try god? Kneel down and express what troubles you.  Even if you are not religious, the act of prayer can benefit you. Because it will force you to analyze what’s troubling you, you can share what worries you so you won’t feel alone, and it puts you to action once you hear your own troubles through prayer.

Part 6: How to Keep From Worrying About Criticism

         Principle 22 – Fool things I have done

The principle encourages creating a FTD folder, it means “fool things I have done”.  Keep a record of the fool things you have done and criticize yourself.  You can’t hope to be perfect. Be open to unbiased, helpful, constructive criticism.

Part 7: Six Ways to Prevent Fatigue and Worry and Keep Your Energy and Spirits High

          Principle 24 – What makes you tired and what you can do about it

The principle explains that brain work doesn’t make us tired; it’s our mental and emotional attitude which causes our fatigue.  And the two key to eliminate our fatigue is if we learn to relax and let go.

Conclusion

By reading the book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, you will learn timeless and proven principles on how to conquer worry, stress and anxiety.  And as such, you can be more effective in your professional and personal life.

Take note that this book is not something you will read and then forget. You need to re-read it and be constantly reminded on the principles of conquering worry.  Remember that we have all the knowledge on how to live a happier life, what we lack is inaction.  It’s good to have this book on hand to keep you reminded of the principles of how to conquer worry in order to apply it in your actions.

Fight the common problem and killer of progress and life in general. Learn to conquer worry, because once you do, that’s when you can achieve a much happier, healthier and richer life.

Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude. ~ Dale Carnegie

p.s.: Get a copy of the book here.

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