How To Stop Worrying And Start Living by Dale Carnegie: Summary and Notes

how to stop worrying and start living summary

“Whether in war or peace, the chief difference between good thinking and bad thinking is this: good thinking deals with causes and effects and leads to logical, constructive planning; bad thinking frequently leads to tension and nervous breakdowns.”

Rating: 7/10

Related Books: How to Win Friends and Influence People, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Become an Effective Leader, Emotional Intelligence, How Will You Measure Your Life?, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do


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How To Stop Worrying And Start Living: Short Summary

How To Stop Worrying and Start Living is by Dale Carnegie is a celebrated classic on how to dissolve worry and live a fulfilling life. Carnegie details the many ways worrying too much can ruin your life and how to solve it. The book contains tips and tricks on conquering worries that are worthwhile.

Fundamental Facts You Should Know About Worry

More than half of all hospital beds are occupied by people with nervous and emotional problems.

Worry will make you die early and live an unfulfilled life. Some of the diseases associated with worry include stomach ulcers, heart attacks, strokes, arthritis, high blood pressure, cold, and mental illness.

To overcome worry, live in day-tight compartments. In other words, shut the doors of the future and the past and embrace the moment.

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” — Thomas Carlyle

A three-step process to handle any problem without worrying:

  1. Analyze the situation fearlessly and honestly. Figure out what is the worst that could happen
  2. Reconcile yourself to accept the worst that can happen. Tim Ferriss calls this concept fear-setting
  3. Devote your time and energy to try and improve on the worst that can happen.

How To Analyze and Solve Your Worry Problems

The three basic steps of problem analysis:

  1. Get the facts. Unless you have the facts, you cannot even begin to tackle your problem
  2. Analyze the facts. Find out what the facts say about the problem you are facing
  3. Arrive at a decision and then act on that decision. After analysis, arrive at a decision and commit to it

When tempted to worry about a problem, write down answers to the following questions:

  • What is the problem?
  • What is the cause of the problem?
  • What are all possible solutions?
  • What is the best solution?

How To Break The Worry Habit Before It Breaks You

how to stop worrying and start living summary - How To Break The Worry Habit Before It Breaks You

Rules to break the worry habit:

  1. Keep busy. When you are busy, you will crowd out the worry in your mind
  2. Don’t fuss about trifles. Don’t permit little things to ruin your life
  3. Use the law of averages to outlaw your worries. Ask yourself: “How likely is it that the thing I’m worried about will happen?”
  4. Cooperate with the inevitable. If it is going to happen and you can do nothing about it, accept and move on
  5. Put a “stop-loss” order on your worries. Decide whether the thing giving you anxiety deserves that much attention or not
  6. Let the past bury its dead. Don’t dwell on the past

Seven Ways To Cultivate A Great Mental Attitude

7 ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and happiness:

  1. Fill your mind with the right thoughts. The outcome of your life is a reflection of your thoughts
  2. Never try to get even with your enemies. When you try to get even with your enemies, you hurt more than them
  3. Don’t worry about ingratitude. Expect it. The only way to find happiness is through the joy of giving
  4. Count your blessings, not your troubles. Be grateful for what you have
  5. Do not imitate others. Be yourself
  6. When fate hands you a lemon, make a lemonade. Make the best out of every situation
  7. Forget your unhappiness by creating happiness for others. When you are good to others, you are also being good to yourself

The Golden Rule of Conquering Worry

Three rules to keep you from worrying about criticism:

  1. Unjust criticism is often disguised as a compliment. When you are unjustly criticized, remember it is because others are jealous of you
  2. Do the very best that you can. Your work will speak for itself
  3. Engage in constructive self-criticism. Keep a record of the fool things that you have done since you can’t hope to be perfect

Six Ways To Prevent Fatigue and Keep Your Energy and Spirits High

How to prevent fatigue and keep your energy high:

  1. Rest before you get tired. Don’t allow yourself to be too exhausted to continue
  2. Learn to relax at work. Take a break and even a nap sometimes
  3. If you are a housewife, learn to relax at home. This will protect your health and appearance
  4. Apply the following good working habits: clear your desk, do things in order of their importance, when faced with a problem, solve it there, and then. Also, learn to organize, delegate, and supervise
  5. To prevent fatigue, demonstrate enthusiasm in your work. If your work is exciting, you will never feel like you are doing any work
  6. No one has ever been killed by lack of sleep. Don’t worry too much about not sleeping well

How To Find The Right Kind Of Work For You

Finding the right work is a tremendous decision.

“Even at the risk of starting family rows, I would like to say to young people: Don’t feel compelled to enter a business or trade just because your family wants you to do it! Don’t enter a career unless you want to do it! However, consider carefully the advice of your parents. They have probably lived twice as long as you have. They have gained the kind of wisdom that comes only from much experience and the passing of many years. But, in the last analysis, you are the one who has to make the final decision. You are the one who is going to be either happy or miserable at your work.

 When choosing your career, seek advice from people who are pursuing that career.

Principles of managing money:

  1. Get the facts down on paper. Know where your money goes by keeping a record
  2. Create a budget for your needs.  List all your expenses to determine your needs
  3. Learn how to spend wisely. Get the best value for your money when you buy things
  4. Don’t increase your headaches with your income. More income should not mean more trouble for you
  5. Try to build credit in the event you must borrow. A good credit rating can help you in case of an emergency
  6. Protect yourself against illness, fire, and emergency services. Take insurance policies against accidents, illnesses, and so on
  7. Don’t have your life insurance policy paid in cash to your dependency. They might waste it and become destitute
  8. Teach your children to be responsible with money. Children who know how to handle money well will be more financially responsible as adults
  9. If necessary, find a side hustle. A side hustle will help balance your budget while diversifying your income sources
  10. Don’t ever gamble. You can’t win against the house