How To Stop Worrying And Start Living Outline

Title: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Author: Dale Carnegie

Length: 352 pages

Published: 1990

ISBN-10: 0671733354

ISBN-13: 978-0671733353

Fundamental Facts About Worry

Chapter 1: Live in day-tight compartments

  • Shut out the yesterdays and tomorrows
  • Live and enjoy today
  • “Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
  • “I want you to think of your life as an hourglass. You know there are thousands of grains of sand in the top of the hourglass; and they all pass slowly and evenly through the neck in the middle. Nothing you or I could do would make more than one grain of sand pass through this narrow neck without impairing the hourglass. You and I and everyone else are like this hourglass. When we start in the morning, there are hundreds of tasks which we feel that we must accomplish that day, but if we do not take them one at a time and let them pass through the day slowly and evenly, as do the grains of sand passing through the narrow neck of the hourglass, then we are bound to break our own physical and mental structure.”
  • “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.”
  • big boy -> grown up -> married -> retirement

Chapter 2: A Magic Formula For Solving Worry Situations

  • Willis H. Carrier solution
  • Step 1 - analyze the situation fearlessly and honestly and determine the worst possible outcome
  • Step 2 - prepare to accept the worst if you have to
  • Step 3 - calmly devote time and energy to improving the worst

Chapter 3: What Worry May Do To You

  • “Business men who do not know how to fight worry die young.”
  • Discusses health problems associated with worry
  • People trading years of their life for business success
  • “Worry curdles the expression. It makes us clench our jaws and lines our faces with wrinkles. It forms a permanent scowl.”

Basic Techniques In Analyzing Worry

Chapter 4: How to Analyze and Solve Worry Problems

  • 1. Get the facts
  • 2. Analyze the facts
  • 3. Arrive at a decision - and then act on that decision as soon as is prudent
  • “… if a man will devote his time to securing facts in an impartial, objective way, worries usually evaporate in the light of knowledge.”
  • ways to be impartial
    • pretend you are collecting the information for someone other than yourself
    • pretend that you are a lawyer looking at all sides of a case

Chapter 5: How to Eliminate Fifty Per Cent of Your Business Worries

  • Before every business meeting, ask the following questions:
    • What is the problem?
    • What is the cause of the problem?
    • What are all the possible solutions of the problem?
    • What solution do you suggest?

Interlude on how to best read the book, similar to his other book’s meta-suggestions

How To Break The Worry Habit Before It Breaks You

Chapter 6 - How to Crowd Worry Out of Your Mind

  • Become active all of the time
  • Worry tends to strike when we are at the end of the day with nothing to do
  • “I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.”

Chapter 7 - Don’t Let the Beetles Get You Down

  • Don’t concern yourself with trifles
  • Life is too short to be little

Chapter 8 - A Law That Will Outlaw Many of Your Worries

  • Use knowledge of the law of averages to your advantage
  • Ask yourself: how likely is this event?

Chapter 9 - Cooperate with the Inevitable

  • At some point, hardship happens
  • It is so, it cannot be otherwise
  • You should fight when you can, and not worry otherwise
  • There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will
  • Try to bear lightly what needs must be

Chapter 10 - Put a “Stop-Loss” Order On Your Worries

  • Limit your losses
  • Sometimes it’s just better to move on
  • Don’t pay too much for your whistle
  • Ask yourself
    • How much does this thing I am worrying about really matter to me?
    • At what point shall I set a “stop-loss” order on this worry and forget about it?
    • Exactly how much shall I pay for this whistle? Have I already paid more than it’s worth?

Chapter 11 - Don’t Try to Saw Sawdust

  • You can’t change the past, you can only learn from it
  • Don’t cry over spilled milk

Ways To Cultivate A Mental Attitude That Will Bring You Peace And Happiness

Chapter 12 - Eight Words That Can Change Your Life

  • Our life is what our thoughts make it
  • Your attitude determines the shape of your life
  • Thoughts have an immense power
  • People respond to your thoughts and actions almost immediately
  • Think and act cheerfully, and you will be cheerful

Chapter 13 - The High Cost of Getting Even

  • Forgive and forget
  • Your enemies would be pleased if they knew that they were causing you worry
  • “If possible, no animosity should be felt toward anyone.”
  • Become absorbed with a cause, and no slights will affect you
  • “No man can force me to stoop low enough to hate him.”
  • Never waste a minute thinking about people that you do not like
  • You would do the same as your enemies if you had the same coercions that they had when growing up

Chapter 14 - If You Do This, You Will Never Worry About Ingratitude

  • Don’t expect gratitude
  • “The ideal man,” said Aristotle, “takes joy in doing favors for others; but he feels ashamed to have others do favors for him. For it is a mark of superiority to confer a kindness; but it is a mark of inferiority to receive it.”
    • Would be interesting to hear Rand’s view of this quote
  • If children are ungrateful, it is the parents who are to blame
  • Remember
    • Instead of worrying about ingratitude, expect it
    • The only way to find happiness is not to expect gratitude, but to give for the joy of giving
    • Gratitude is a cultivated trait; remember this for children

Chapter 15 - Would You Take a Million Dollars For What You Have?

  • Be pleased with the 90% of things that are going right instead of focusing on the 10% that maybe aren’t
  • We seldom think of what we have, but too often think of what we lack
  • “There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.”
  • Count your blessings, not your troubles

Chapter 16 - Find Yourself and Be Yourself: Remember There Is No One Else on Earth Like You

  • “Nobody is so miserable as he who longs to be somebody and something other than the person he is in body and mind.”
  • “Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.”
  • Imitating others cannot make you successful–you must use your own personality, experiences, and perspectives

Chapter 17 - If You Have a Lemon, Make Lemonade

  • Even if you don’t think you can succeed, you should try anyway, because:
    • you might succeed
    • even if you don’t succeed, you are doing something and looking forward instead of backward
  • “The most important thing is not to capitalize on your gains. 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.”

Chapter 18 - How to Cure Melancholy in Fourteen Days

  • Try to think every day how you can please someone
  • Aristotle called being kind to people “enlightened selfishness”
  • Be interested in other people and their interests

The Golden Rule For Conquering Worry

Chapter 19 - How My Mother and Father Conquered Worry

  • Religious faith
  • …and then I stopped reading this section


Chapter 20 - Remember That No One Ever Kicks A Dead Dog

  • If someone is giving you trouble, it is because you are important and they want satisfaction

Chapter 21 - Do This and Criticism Can’t Hurt You

  • Never be bothered by what people say, if you know in your heart you are right
  • Do the very best you can, and then don’t worry about criticism

Chapter 22 - Fool Things I Have Done

  • Keep a record of the fool things you have done
  • Always try to be better in the things you know that you have done poorly
  • Ask for unbiased, helpful, constructive criticism

Six Ways To Prevent Fatigue And Worry And Keep Your Energy And Spirits High

Chapter 23 - How to Add One Hour a Day to Your Waking Life

  • Rest often, and rest before you get tired
  • Taking naps can be more beneficial than sleeping through the night (something I have long agreed with)

Chapter 24 - What Makes You Tired - And What You Can Do About It

  • Mental work alone does not cause fatigue
  • Most fatigue stems from our mental and emotional attitudes
  • Relax while you are doing your work and try to get in the most comfortable position possible
  • Check yourself several times throughout the day

Chapter 25 - How the Housewife Can Avoid Fatigue - and Keep Looking Young

  • see previous chapter

Chapter 26 - Four Good Working Habits

  • clear your desk of all papers except for those relating to the problem at hand
  • do things in the order of their importance
  • when you face a problem, solve it then and there if you have the facts necessary to make a decision, don’t keep putting off decisions
  • learn to organize, deputize, and supervise

Chapter 27 - How to Banish the Boredom that Produces Fatigue, Worry, and Resentment

  • Make a dull job interesting
  • Give yourself pep talks at the beginning of the day and througout the day to keep your spirits high and your thoughts soaring

Chapter 28 - How to Keep From Worrying About Insomnia

  • Worrying about insomnia will hurt you quite a bit more than insomnia itself
    • Perhaps this is why the everyman didn’t work out at first for me

How To Find The Kind Of Work In Which You You May Be Happy And Successful

Chapter 29 - The Major Decision of Your Life

  • Two most important decisions
    • How are you going to make a living?
    • Do something you enjoy
    • Who are you going to select to be the father or mother of your children?
  • Focused mostly on the the first question, so I skipped most of this chapter

Chapter 30 - “Seventy Per Cent Of Our Worries…”

  • …are about money
  • some guidelines
    • get the facts down on paper
    • get a tailor-made budget that fits your needs
    • learn how to spend wisely
    • don’t increase your headaches with your income
    • try to build credit, in the event you must borrow
    • protect yourself against illness, fire, and emergency expenses
    • do not have your life-insurance proceeds paid to your widow in cash
    • teach your children a responsible attitude toward money
    • do something on the side
    • don’t gamble - ever
    • if you can’t change your financial situation, stop resenting what can’t be changed

The rest of the book consists of anecdotes from people