If you said yes to that question, you’re not alone — and it isn’t a new problem caused by the pandemic. I just finished reading How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, written by Dale Carnegie in 1944. As I read, I thought, This could have been written in 2022! Carnegie personally knew many of the major business and government leaders of his day, and many of them worried — just like me. If you, too, are a worrier, I would recommend reading his book. It’s nothing new, but for some reason, knowing that it was written almost 80 years ago grabbed my attention.
Here are a few of the takeaways:
- If you want to avoid worry, don’t stew about the future. Just live each day until bedtime.
- The next time trouble backs you into a corner, ask yourself:
• What’s the worst that can possibly happen if I can’t solve my problem?
• Prepare yourself mentally to accept the worst.
• Then calmly try to improve upon the worst, which you’ve already mentally agreed to accept.
- Remind yourself of the exorbitant price you can pay for worry in terms of your health. Those who don’t know how to fight worry die young.
- Get the facts. Half the worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions before they have sufficient knowledge upon which to base a decision.
- After carefully weighing all the facts, come to a decision.
- Once a decision is carefully reached, act! Get busy carrying out your decision and dismiss all anxiety about the outcome.
- When you’re tempted to worry about a problem, write out and answer the following questions:
• What’s the problem?
• What’s the cause of the problem?
• What are all possible solutions?
• What’s the best solution?
- Crowd worry out of your mind by keeping busy.
- Don’t fuss about trifles. Don’t permit little things to ruin your happiness.
- Use the law of averages to outlaw your worries. Ask yourself, What are the odds against this thing happening at all?
- Cooperate with the inevitable. If you know a circumstance is beyond your power to change or revise, say to yourself, It is so, it cannot be otherwise.
- Put a “stop-loss” order on your worries.
By the way, the book addresses a number of other issues that business owners and senior executives deal with on a regular basis.
p.s. Finally, please don’t tell a worrier not to worry!