How to Stop Worrying and Start Living - Dale Carnegie

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living - Dale Carnegie

Video Book Summary

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Book Summary Notes

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

“No one living has enough emotion and vigor to fight the inevitable and, at the same time, enough left over to create a new life."

"Choose one or the other. You can either bend with the inevitable sleetstorms of life—or you can resist them and break!”

Likely you've been exposed to How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale's Best Selling Book)

  • This book is..  The same but different! 
  • Dale's writing style is very practical and action is the name of the game..  This book is no different!

Fears and Worries

“Seventy per cent of all patients who come to physicians could cure themselves if they got rid of their fears and worries.”

Worrying and fear are killers..

Inside the book there are many quotes from Doctors talking about worry might do to you..  

This was probably written before the day and age when we knew how bad it REALLY is for our health!

  • Even so the doctors are talking about how worry and fear will basically eat you alive..
  • Hacking years off your life and leaving you with little energy inside those years!

Now knowing Carnegie's writing I don't think this is a 'scare tactic' per say.. 

  • Instead I think he's trying to portray how important it is for you to get your worry and fear under control.. 
  • He talked about cultivating a burning desire in How to Win Friends and Influence People and I believe this is his way of helping you find one!

Til The Sun Goes Down

“So let’s be content to live the only time we can possibly live: from now until bedtime. ‘Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, from now until nightfall,’ wrote Robert Louis Stevenson. ‘Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.’

The amazing effect of willpower.. 

Humans have almost complete control over our actions in the short term..  

  • If we have enough willpower we can endure almost anything..
  • Especially if we don't focus on the thing we have to endure over the long term!  

Willpower has this amazing thing where it's basically reset over night!

  • When we go to bed we wake up feeling rested and refreshed and ready to take on a new day!
  • So why during the day do we so often focus on how long our suffering will go on for? 
  • Focusing on that erodes our willpower quicker than anything..  

Right now I'm writing a new book on Mind Mapping..

  • There isn't much information out there about Mind Mapping but I'm determined to read all that there is!
  • Plus I will have to be creative and add new information to the genre if the book will be worth anything..  
  • That is all going to take a long time!  Like months.. 

If I focused on that everyday..  "Only 3 more months until I'm finished" I would never finish the book!

Instead I focus on the day..  And get excited about it!

What can I learn today?

What can I create right now?

Those questions are more important and empowering than 'how much longer until it's done' will ever be!


“Experience has proved to me, time after time, the enormous value of arriving at a decision."

"It is the failure to arrive at a fixed purpose, the inability to stop going around and round in maddening circles, that drives men to nervous breakdowns and living hells. I find that fifty per cent of my worries vanishes once I arrive at a clear, definite decision; and another forty per cent usually vanishes once I start to carry out that decision."

"So, I banish about 90 per cent of my worries by taking these four steps:"

  • "1. Writing down precisely what I am worried about."
  • "2. Writing down what I can do about it."
  • "3. Deciding what to do."
  • "4. Starting immediately to carry out that decision.”

Another point about Action Bias!

How many of the books we've done on this channel have entire sections about action bias..  I think it might be important!

Okay time for a story..

  • One of my coaching clients came to me after our week apart absolutely stressed out and worried..  
  • When I asked what was wrong she explained that she couldn't decide what to do next..  She was paralyzed!

And because of that she didn't get any work done that week and felt fearful that her projects were going to fail!

(Which by the way was not possible but worry and fear will do weird things to the mind)

So what did we do?

  • Exactly what Dale tells us too..  
  • Write down what you're worried about..  
  • What can you possibly do about out?
  • Decide on one of those things.. 
  • Action!

Spilt Milk

“Some readers are going to snort at the idea of making so much over a hackneyed proverb like ‘Don’t cry over spilt milk.’ I know it is trite, commonplace, a platitude." 

"I know you have heard it a thousand times. But I also know that these hackneyed proverbs contain the very essence of the distilled wisdom of all ages. They have come out of the fiery experience of the human race and have been handed down through countless generations. If you were to read everything that has ever been written about worry by the great scholars of all time, you would never read anything more basic or more profund than such hackneyed proverbs as ‘Don’t cross your bridges until you come to them’ and ‘Don’t cry over spilt milk.’

"If we only applied those two proverbs—instead of snorting at them-—we wouldn’t need this book at all. In fact, if we applied most of the old proverbs, we would lead almost perfect lives."

"However, knowledge isn’t power until it is applied; and the purpose of this book is to remind you of what you already know and to kick you in the shins and inspire you to do something about applying it.”

Knowledge isn't power until it's applied..

This is probably the most profound quote in the entire book..

  • Dale is basically saying that most of life has already been figured out..  
  • In fact it's been figured out and distilled so well that we have these 'hackneyed proverbs' that we all know!

But how many of us are really applying them?

  • When was the last time something happened to you that was devastating?
  • Maybe a business deal fell through, you didn't get a certain job or even you had a car break down..

Did you get busy fixing the problem or get busy commiserating? 

  • Try out this philosophy..  
  • One day I looked back on my life and realized that given enough time some of the worst things that ever happened to me were really the best things!
  • It's a weird way that life teaches us lessons..  Sometimes it has to kick us in the shins to let us know!
  • But because of that I have a new philosophy..  When something happens that I would normally be bummed about I ask myself 'given enough time what will this teach me' and look for the way to learn immediately!

Rest Often

“Psychiatrists declare that most of our fatigue derives from our mental and emotional attitudes..." 

"What kinds of emotional factors tire the sedentary (or sitting) worker? Joy? Contentment? No! Never! Boredom, resentment, a feeling of not being appreciated, a feeling of futility, hurry, anxiety, worry—those are the emotional factors that exhaust the sitting worker, make him susceptible to colds, reduce his output, and send him home with a nervous headache."

"Yes, we get tired because our emotions produce nervous tensions in the body.”

“So, to prevent fatigue and worry, the first rule is: Rest often. Rest before you get tired.”

Tired without feeling tired..

This one spoke to me personally..  

  • I often don't take enough rest!  
  • And I think it's a simple mental trick I have I play on myself..

(That I'm resolving to work on here)

  • I don't think of myself as 'tired' when I've had a long day..  

Instead I think of myself as lazy!

  • I didn't work physically like some of my friends for 10 hours today..  
  • Instead I sat (or stood) at my desk for 8 hours..
  • And because of this I don't allow myself to take enough rest!

But as Dale says here in the book..  The mental part of work is just as tiring..  Even when you love what you do!

  • So to prevent fatigue we must rest before we feel we need it! 
  • Letting sleep, long walks and naps take priority..
  • Inside the book he's got a tonne of examples from very successful people about how they use rest!

Too Busy For You

“I realize now that people are not thinking about you and me or caring what is said about us." 

"They are thinking about themselves—before breakfast, after breakfast, and right on until ten minutes past midnight. They would be a thousand times more concerned about a slight headache of their own than they would about the news of your death or mine.”

People are too busy thinking/worrying about themselves!

This is such a great point..

  • Actually it's similar to how I cured myself of social anxiety while opening up my gym!
  • I live in a small town where people who do things outside the norm are weird..

So I felt quite a lot of social anxiety when starting up my gym!  

  • I got over that feeling by simply reminding myself every time I felt it that people weren't worried about me..
  • They've got so much stuff going on themselves that they would never have enough time to even give me a second thought..

What about you?

  • Where are you feeling social anxiety?
  • Worried about what other people are or might say about you?
  • It's a natural reaction to doing something different..  But you have to remember this!  They don't care about you all that much.

Leisure Misery

“George Bernard Shaw was right. He summed it all up when he said: ‘The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not.’"

"So don’t bother to think about it! Spit on your hands and get busy. Your blood will start circulating; your mind will start ticking—and pretty soon this whole positive upsurge of life in your body will drive worry from your mind. Get busy. Keep busy. It’s the cheapest kind of medicine there is on this earth—and one of the best.”

Do you have too much time to think?

Too me this is good advice for some and bad advice for others..

So if you're the type of person who never takes time to reflect this is what I would suggest..

  • Take some time..  Reflect back!
  • Why am I doing this?
  • What am I trying to accomplish?
  • How might I accomplish this more efficiently?

But if you are the type of person who tends to do too much thinking..  

  • Dale and George have it right!
  • Spit on your hands and get back to work.
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