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How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Fundamental Facts About Worry

Remember the Price of Worry #

Business men who do not know how to fight worry die young

The benefits of removing worry affect our physical health too. High worry and anxiety are connected to ailments such as:

Our mental and physical health have powerful links that shouldn't be overlooked. Especially ones connected to the stomach and heart. It acts as a slow drip of poison, wearing down important parts of our health into long-term, serious damage. An example the book gives is angina pectoris, which causes serious chest pain, and one of its major causes is emotional distresses such as worry.

As this chapter frequently states, businessmen who do not know how to fight worry die young. This is why the two core methods to manage it below are so important.

What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his health? Even if he owned the whole world, he could sleep in only one bed at a time and eat only three meals a day. Even a ditch-digger can do that and probably sleep more soundly and enjoy his food more than a high-powered executive. Frankly, I would rather be a share-cropper down in Alabama with a banjo on my knee than wreck my health at forty-five by trying to run a railroad or cigarette company.

Live in Day-tight Compartments #

Focus on what is clearly visible today, not what is in the past or future. The past and future are eternities we either can do nothing about or know nothing for certain about. Focusing on them too much will drain us. It's best to focus on the only time we can realistically lie in, the present.

This doesn't mean not thinking about tomorrow at all. But the best possible preparation for tomorrow is handling today well. Plan for tomorrow as best as you can but don't stress over it, since we ultimately have little control over most of it. This helps bring your focus back to logical, constructive planning.

This also means showing gratitude for each day we are given. Doing so helps give us motivation and courage to tackle the day's problems one at a time. We should enjoy the roses we have now instead of dreaming about roses over the horizon.

The Formula for Handling All Worries #

The book recommends these three steps to manage and resolve all intense feelings of worry.

  1. Ask yourself what the worst possible outcome is for not solving a problem.
  2. Mentally prepare yourself for the worst if necessary.
  3. Calmly work to improve upon the worst-case scenario you've already mentally accepted.

This formula helps remove all the vague imaginings of bad scenarios that drive worry, and replace them with focus and concentration. It clearly lets us know where we stand. It brings us from a mindset of "I have everything to lose" to "I have everything to gain."