on March 23, 2003
It seems like such a silly thing to have to read a book on how to stop worrying, but trust me; you'll never learn as much any other way. Once again, Dale Carnegie proves to be the expert on self-motivation. Certainly this book won't cure you, but it will give you advice and insight on the better life you should be leading. A remarkably easy read. I do have one problem with Carnegie's book; he seems to focus a lot on religion, and to anyone who isn't "hip" with religion will find it distasteful. Also, I actually enjoyed his other book, How to Win Friends, more, but How to Stop Worrying is a nice addition into the self-help fanatic's library. If anything, it will slap you in the face and remind you that life is too important to waste time worrying about superficial matters. Some of us need that slap in the face.
In How To Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie shares practical tips to help people to stop worry and eliminate at least some types of depression.
The book begins with advice from the Bible "Have no thought for tomorrow", in a sense that one should focus on what one can do today - do the best that one can do now, and leave the rest to God. If we do the best we can do every moment of our lives, then there is no point in worrying about anything.
Here is a list of tips for a worry-free life, from this book, one can commit to live day by day:
Just for Today
I will be happy
I will try to adjust myself to what is.
I will take care of my body.
I will try to strengthen my mind by learning something new.
I will exercise my soul.
I will do something good for others.
I will be agreeable.
I will look as best as I can, dress as becoming as I can, act courteously, be liberal with praise, avoid criticizing and not try to regulate anyone (in other words "live - and let live")
I will try to live through this day only.
I will take half an hour to relax and I will think of God (or whatever to you stands for that which is greater your individual self), in order to get a better perspective on my life.
I will be unafraid to be happy, to enjoy my life, to love and to believe that those I love, love me.
Greater part of this book contains stories from the lives of people who developed all kinds of health problems from worrying, and who decided to change their ways, be grateful for what they have, do the best they can with what they have, and share their blessings with the world.
People worry for different reasons, and Dale Carnegie has compiled stories that relate to just about any kind of worry - worry due to genuine problems one has to deal with, worry due to imaginary problems that may or may not happen, worry and depression due to some tragic event in one's life.
Since we can focus our mind only one one thing at any given point in time, one can diminish worry by keeping oneself busy physically and mentally, engaged in some productive and constructive activity.
Some problems may be foreseen and of course when the person tends to encounter similar worrisome situation, one may brainstorm the possible solutions and pick what seems to best help solve the problem. And since it's hard to think of solution when one's mind is preoccupied with worrying, it is helpful considering the worst thing that can happen, accepting the worst case scenario, and then when one is at peace with it, contemplating workable ways on how can one improve on the situation.
Regardless of one's spiritual affiliation (or lack of it), it is much easier embracing uncertainty when one chooses to believe that even though one may not know what to do, there is a greater intelligence and power that has the solution to the challenge one is facing and is wiling and able to guide the individual - for some it may be God, for others it may be the power of one's subconscious (or superconscious) mind.
on December 22, 2003
Tossed to me at a time in my life when I was drowning in my worries. Oh, my worries were real enough, I had good cause to worry! Everyone said so. My husband died suddenly, then my teenage daughter got into drugs, dropped out of school and ran away! I worried so much my hair fell out!! And this went on for several YEARS! In this book I met other people who had good cause to worry, too. Those who shared their life experiences with Dale Carnegie, and gave him their best coping techniques so that he could compile them in a single text. They talked about how they dealt with the fear of war, or illness, or poverty, or lonliness and the worst one of all: despair. I read it over and over. I clung to the stories of people rising above their circumstances and making it through hard times. This book is FILLED with things you can do IMMEDIATELY to improve your life, practical concepts that REALLY WORK. Even though I am in a happier place in life at this time, I thank God for this book and the calm it brought me during my toughest years.
on January 17, 2016
This is the 2nd copy of this book I bought. YES, I actually wore out the 1st one. The 1st book was underlined and totally WELL READ. So, yes if the title if this book strikes a chord with you, and you think maybe Dale Carnegie could illuminate your cloudy day that seems to be repeating, you are right. "How to Win Friends and Influence People" 's author Carnegie, has written a Blitzkrieg Bible. I have read this book a million times now, after stumbling upon it in the public library. Now, I can open it on any page and derive a wealth of PRACTICLE knowledge that puts me on my feet again. I LOVE THIS BOOK!! It is cheap.....It is a paperback.......Buy it!! You will thank me later!! The only negative thing I could possibly think of regarding this book -thinking as a devil's advocate- is Hey, if this book is so good, why did I read it 100 times? Surely, if this book works, then I should read it once, maybe twice, and I would be on my way. No, no, no, that is not how the world works. You shower and bathe because you get dirty again. The world is not a peaches and cream garden of Eden. After you have "unchained" yourself, be forewarned that you may wake up 8 months from now in a "Brand New Straight Jacket" that has YOUR name written all over it! And let me tell you I thoroughly enjoyed each time re-reading this book!
on July 11, 2004
I have a great life but have always been crippled by worry. This book (audio CD) has really helped. I listed to it on CDs while I drive on long journeys. I have heard it a few times and imagine I will continue to listen to it periodically as long as I live.
I recently took an 8 hour drive and had 4 of the disks it in my CD player and my 9 year old son loved them. I turned it off a few times to see if he was paying attention and he asked that I put it back on instead of his own music CD. At the end of every section my son and I talked about what the section meant. I found the CD very helpful for me but I am absolutely blown away that my 9 year old son seems to be touched by it as well. He loved the stories.
My family has been happier and calmer as a result of this CD. This was the best purchase I have made. I loved how to win friends but this CD was much better for me since worry is a major problem in my life.
If you are fighting worry, buy this book or CD. It is money well spent.
on May 15, 2004
This is my first Amazon.com review, but I was compelled to write since I found this book to have such a positive impact on my outlook on life.
I picked up this book at least twice over the year, and put it back thinking that the information contained was probably no longer relevant or useful since it was written so long ago (1945). Instead, I bought other, more up-to-date books that didn't help my chronic worrying in the least. Finally, I bought this book - and was amazed to find this one little book has begun to change my outlook on life. True, the stories ARE old - some of them are about World War II veterans or people struggling through the Depression - but instead of finding them irrelevant, it instead made me realize two things - that people have been battling chronic worry for a long time (and that I am not alone) AND these people faced a lot more troubles that I have and were still able to overcome their fears and worries.
It's true what other reviewers say - Carnegie does fill the book with age-old idioms (he quotes Lincoln, George Bernard Shaw and William James). But he puts it into such a context that I would often put the book down, and think, "He's right! I never thought of it that way."
I've been through therapy and counselling, and it hasn't helped as much as this one little book. Whenever I start to feel anxious or have nagging worries, I turn to this book and read one of the many passages I have highlighted and I feel better instantly. Admittedly, this book may not help you if you have a severe anxiety disorder or depression. But if you are a chronic worrier, like me, you may find this book to be as invaluable as I do.
on December 18, 2002
In a world fall of Prozac and expensive therapists, this book is a refreshing change. The book provides a set of very simple principles that you can apply to your life to stop worrying.
The book is well written and very easy to read. The chapters are short and therefore easy to absorb. The lessons are not profound. Rather, the book reminds us of simple things that we may have forgotten. It chides us for worrying about trivial things, for worrying about things that we cannot change and for worrying about things that may never pass.
The book may seem slightly dated nevertheless its basic tenets are sound. The one thing I did not like about the book was its overuse of stories and anecdotes. The book would make a point and then use quite a number of stories to support the point. I think this was excessive. One or two supporting anecdotes would have been sufficient.
Overall this book has made a change to the way that I view the world. If we all stepped back and objectively analysed our current lives, most of us would realise how fortunate we are to enjoy the privileges that we do today. Strongly recommended for anyone currently living the modern day, hectic, stress filled lifestyle.
on January 16, 2002
Dale Carnegie was realistic enough to recognize that in a stress-filled, highly competitive society people would often be disposed toward reaching a point of exclaiming despairfully, "Enough already!" This master success mindset creator empathizes with people feeling acute frustration and lacking confidence, offering instructive examples of how the world's great achievers and beacons of inspirational thought confronted frustration and despair.
One of my favorite examples from this powerful book is that of the New York mogul who was told by doctors that his condition was irretrievably fatal and that the only thing he could do was try and enjoy the little time which remained to him. He was informed that he could extend the time remaining to a limited degree by being careful of what he ate and seeing that he did not tax himself.
With those thoughts in mind, the mogul boarded a boat for presumably his final journey abroad. After the ship got out to sea and the New Yorker had nothing but time to think, surrounded by blue water on all sides, he decided to throw caution to the winds and enjoy what time remained to him. He began to eat what he wanted, disdaining medical advice, as well as jettisoning cautionary warnings about overtaxing himself. The next thing he knew he had infused himself with such joy of living that he began gaining weight, strength, and stamina, not to mention enjoying himself thoroughly. By the time he reached Europe he was a new man and the presumably fatal illness was no more than a bad dream in his memory bank.
Carnegie recalls a delightful Thanksgiving dinner he had with Jack Dempsey in a New York restaurant. Dempsey explained how, initially, after having lost his heavyweight championship to Gene Tunney, he decided to concentrate, instead of feeling depressed, on accomplishing good and enjoying himself at the same time. Dempsey told Carnegie that in looking back he was actually a happier man in the years following what could have been a bitter disappointment, after losing his title, than in his glory days when he reigned as world heavyweight championship. His determined mental attitude paved the way.
Carnegie also relates how he conquered adversity to become famous. A shy youngster growing up in rural Missouri, he was overcome by self-doubt after moving to New York City. He decided to conquer his shyness by becoming an adept public speaker. Since the challenge was so difficult he concentrated intensely and spent much time and effort learning about the proper elements of speaking. He also concentrated on the realm of overall self-improvement, as well as focusing on the subject of acquisition of confidence. He became so adept that he became the world's foremost authority on the subject of achieving success through developing confidence. Carnegie's common sense approach is as timely now as when he developed it.
on January 2, 2001
The most interesting thing about this incredible book isn't the time-tested, practical advice (although there is much of that), nor the potentially life-changing observations on "how to live" (although they also abound). No, the most important lesson of HOW TO STOP WORRYING comes from an unintended source...and tells us a lot about how the world has changed.
This book was published nearly half a century ago, and was based on observations from the first half of the twentieth century. Does that make it a hopeless anachronism? Just the opposite...it shows us how far we've fallen in one very important respect: Our willingness to take responsibility for outr actions. Consider this: Every single bit of advice in this book is based on the premise that you, the reader, are responsible for your own destiny, and must personally take action in your own life...not wait for the government or a pill or someone else to take care of it for you. Not once is anyone in this book characterized as a "victim" (although many come under great misfortune). If this book were to be written today, the fault for it's subject's problems would lie entirely with external forces, as would all of the remedies.
I find it interesting that the overall term used to describe the problem this book attempts to solve ("worry"), is one that we never hear these days. In today's world, we say that someone is "stressed" to describe the same symptoms. Why? Because "worry" is something one does to one's self, and "stress" comes from the outside. We no longer want to acknowledge responsibility for anything.
I'll be the first to admit that we know much more today about the cause of mental and physical problems than we did when this book was written. But any open-minderd reader of this volume will have to admit that, in many respects, we've gone backward. This was self-help for what Tom Brokaw calls "the greatest generation", and I recommend it highly.
on December 20, 2000
This book is loaded with common sense, which unfortunately today is such an uncommon thing. If you read this book in its entirety, then read it again and again, you will come to see that you have choices in every moment that you can use to make yourself happy or miserable. It's just that simple. But simple doesn't mean easy-you have to practice over and over again because long held ways of thinking and behaving don't yield to change overnight. Using notable luminaries and average folks, Dale Carnegie doesn't take off on some grand flight of fancy into vague esotericism, but stays wonderfully grounded in offering the tools to a better way of life.
Especially helpful is the advice to live in "day-tight compartments" and to challenge yourself to accept the worst while preparing to make the best out of any difficulty you may encounter. Also, his idea of religion/spirituality is one of the healthiest I have ever read. He says he has no interest in the creeds that separate people from each other, but has come to appreciate speaking with God simply as something wonderful he can do for himself that yields practical results. Just as fresh water, air, and rest benefit the body, so does a healthy spirituality benefit the mind and soul. At the end of the book are testimonials from all types of people on how they banished worry from their lives and truly began to live again. This book is inspiring, informative, motivational, and comforting. If you read this with an open mind, you will realize that there is really never anything to "worry about" and you will be in command of that most precious of gifts we humans are given: the power of the mind and will to live life in a self-determined way. This is THE classic and if properely appreciated and understood will change your life forever. Quite simply, the best of its kind. Ever.