Summary - How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry - Dale Carnegie

Summary - How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry - Dale Carnegie


Sixteen Ways This Book Will Help You:

  1. Provides practical formulas for solving worrying situations.

  2. Shows how to eliminate 50% of business worries.

  3. Presents seven ways to cultivate a mental attitude for peace and happiness.

  4. Shows how to lessen financial worries.

  5. Explains a law to outlaw many worries.

  6. Shows how to turn criticism to your advantage.

  7. Shows how homemakers can avoid fatigue and stay young.

  8. Gives four work habits to prevent fatigue and worry.

  9. Shows how to add 1 hour a day to your life.

  10. Shows how to avoid emotional upsets.

  11. Presents stories of ordinary people who overcame worry.

  12. Gives a prescription to cure melancholy in 14 days.

  13. Gives 21 words that helped a doctor banish worry.

  14. Explains three steps used by an entrepreneur to conquer worry.

  15. How to use what William James called "the sovereign cure for worry".

  16. Details how famous men conquered worry.

Preface: The book was written because 35 years ago the author was depressed while working as a truck salesman in New York. He lived in a cockroach-infested room and ate cheap, dirty food. He had constant headaches from worry, disappointment, and bitterness. His life was not what he had dreamed of in college.

He decided to quit his job and teach public speaking in night school so he could have days free to read, write, and pursue his dreams. He saw that his training in public speaking was the most helpful part of his college education. It gave him confidence to deal with people and the courage to express his thoughts.

He applied to teach at Columbia and NYU but was rejected. He ended up teaching at the YMCA, where he had to produce quick results. His students wanted to solve practical problems like overcoming their fear of public speaking to advance their careers and provide for their families. They paid for concrete results.

  • In 1871, a young medical student named William Osier read 21 words that profoundly impacted him: "Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand."

  • These words helped Osier become a famous physician. He founded Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and was knighted by the King of England.

  • 42 years later, Osier told Yale students the secret to his success was "living in day-tight compartments" - focusing on the present day's tasks instead of worrying about the uncertain future or dwelling on the unchangeable past.

  • Osier likened this to a ship captain closing off watertight compartments. We should similarly "close off" the past and the future, and focus on today.

  • The past is "dead" and beyond our control. The future is uncertain. But today's tasks are clear and within our control. Worrying about the past or future only brings "mental distress" and "nervous worries".

  • By concentrating on today's duties and avoiding dwelling on past or future worries, we can find "safety" and peace of mind. We should "cultivate the habit of life of 'day-tight compartments'".

  • In summary, Osier recommends living focused on the present day, avoiding worries about the uncontrollable past or uncertain future. We can achieve tremendous success and peace of mind by approaching life this way.

  • The key message is to not worry about the future and instead focus on the present. Worrying about the future causes anxiety and distress.

  • Several examples and stories are provided to illustrate this message:

  1. A penniless philosopher told people not to worry about tomorrow and instead focus on today. What Jesus meant by "Take no thought for the morrow" is to not have anxiety about the future. We should plan for the future but have no fear.

  2. Admiral Ernest King focused on today's problems rather than past or future issues. Good thinking deals with the present, while lousy review leads to anxiety.

  3. Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of The NY Times, had trouble sleeping due to worrying during WWII. He adopted the motto "One step enough for me" to live in the present.

  4. Ted Bengermino, a soldier in WWII, suffered from anxiety and physical issues from excessive worrying. An army doctor told him to view life like an hourglass, focusing on one grain of sand (one task) at a time. This advice helped him during and after the war.

  5. Many hospital patients suffer from nervous troubles caused by dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. We should live in "day-tight compartments" and focus on the present.

  6. Robert Louis Stevenson said we can all live patiently until nightfall (the present), which is all that life requires. But Mrs. E. K. Shields nearly committed suicide before learning this lesson.

The critical takeaway is to avoid anxiety about the uncertain future and past and instead focus on living in and savoring the present moment, and worrying less leads to greater peace and productivity.

The author describes the struggles of a man named Edward Evans, who overcame a period of intense worry and difficulties in his life. Evans had trouble sleeping, lost his appetite, and eventually became so ill he was given only two weeks to live. However, his health improved once he accepted his fate and stopped worrying. He recovered and went on to become a very successful businessman.

The author uses this story to illustrate the importance of living in the present and not worrying excessively about the future. He quotes several philosophers and authors who advocate seizing the day and making the most of the present moment. The author himself has reminders, like a poem on his mirror, to live in the day.

The author then provides a technique for overcoming worry that he learned from Willis Carrier, the inventor of air conditioning. Carrier describes being given an important assignment early in his career to install an experimental gas-cleaning device. When unforeseen difficulties arose, and the machine did not work as well as promised, Carrier became extremely worried. However, he developed a formula for solving worry situations:

  1. Ask yourself, "What is the worst that can happen?"

  2. Prepare to accept the worst, if necessary.

  3. Then calmly try to improve upon the worst.

  4. Don't worry about things you can't change; work on those you can change.

Carrier says that facing the worst possibility and accepting it robbed that worry situation of its power over him. Then he was able to concentrate on thoughtful action to improve things. He found this formula very helpful for solving subsequent worry problems in his personal and business life.

The author recommends Carrier's four-step formula as an excellent method for overcoming worry and finding solutions to problems. Eliminating the fear of uncertainty is key to overcoming chronic worry and anxiety. Facing the worst possibility helps build courage and resilience. Then action can be taken to improve the situation.

Here is a summary of the advice:

  1. Analyze the situation and figure out the worst that could happen. Accept the worst mentally. This helps you relax and think clearly.

  2. Do not worry; it destroys your ability to concentrate and make good decisions—acceptance of the worst leads to peace of mind and the ability to focus on solutions.

  3. Once you have accepted the worst, improve the situation. Try to reduce losses and salvage what you can. Thinking of solutions is possible only when you have a calm and focused mind.

  4. Two examples are given to illustrate the effectiveness of this anti-worry technique:

  • Willis H. Carrier used this technique to solve a problem in his factory that helped reduce losses from $20,000 to $5,000.

  • An oil dealer used the same technique to handle a blackmail situation. Accepting the worst (the ruin of his business) helped him stay calm, think clearly, and find an effective solution with the help of his lawyer.

  1. Another example is Earl P. Haney, diagnosed with incurable ulcers, who accepted his impending death and decided to travel around the world. His calm acceptance gave him a new lease of life. Defying doctors' warnings, he did not die at sea but returned home to be buried as promised.

  2. In summary, accepting and reconciling yourself to the worst possible outcome helps you relax, gives you peace of mind, and allows you to concentrate on solutions that can improve the situation. Worrying, conversely, makes you fret and destroys your ability to think and make good decisions.

  • The author says worry and emotional troubles cause more damage than physical diseases like smallpox. However, we overlook these emotional troubles and do not warn others about their damaging effects.

  • Many physical illnesses like ulcers, digestive problems, heart disease, and high blood pressure are caused or aggravated by worry and stress. A study found that 1/3 of executives surveyed suffered stress-related ailments before age 45. The author argues that success is meaningless without health and well-being.

  • The author cites doctors and studies showing that over half of hospital patients are there due to nervous troubles, even though their nerves are physically healthy. Negative emotions like worry, fear, frustration, and despair cause these troubles. We need to treat the mind and body together through psychosomatic medicine.

  • Emotional and mental diseases are becoming more widespread. 1 in 20 Americans will experience institutionalization for mental illness. 1 in 6 WWII draftees was rejected for mental/emotional reasons. The major cause of insanity is physical and emotional - worry, fear, and despair.

  • In summary, the author argues that we must focus more on managing our emotions and worries to avoid physical and mental damage. Success and ambition are only worthwhile if we maintain health and peace of mind. We must find ways to reduce anxiety and negative feelings to lead happier, healthier lives.

• Worry and anxiety can significantly negatively impact one's physical and mental health. They are contributing factors to many illnesses and health conditions.

• Worry causes people to break off contact with reality and retreat into an imaginary world of their creation to escape their problems. This does not solve their worries and only makes the situation worse.

• Several books provide evidence for the harmful effects of worry, including Stop Worrying and Get Well by Dr. Edward Podolsky and Peace of Mind by Dr. Karl Menninger. They show how anxiety can cause illness.

• Specific examples show how worry caused illness in historical figures like Ulysses S. Grant and government officials like Henry Morgenthau Jr. Worry can cause conditions like nervous breakdowns, diabetes, rheumatism, arthritis, tooth decay, overactive thyroids, heart disease, ulcers, and skin problems.

• The famous actress Merle Oberon avoided worry because she knew it could destroy her looks and appearance. Fear causes aging, sour expressions, wrinkles, scowling, gray hair, and skin problems.

• Heart disease is a major killer, and much of it is caused by worry and stress. Groups that tend to be less worried, like Southern Negroes and Chinese, have lower rates of stress-related heart disease. Doctors, who lead tense lives, have higher death rates from heart disease.

• Suicide is a bigger cause of death than several major infectious diseases. Worry and anxiety are major contributors to suicide.

• Constant worrying can be a form of psychological torture that drives people insane, similar to the Chinese water torture method.

Worry and anxiety should be avoided because they harm physical and mental health and well-being. Managing worry and adopting a calmer, more balanced approach to life is critical for health, happiness, and longevity.

The key to overcoming worry is to analyze the situation and develop a plan of action. The three steps to problem analysis are:

  1. Get the facts. Gather information in an impartial, unemotional manner. Try to see the issue objectively, as if you were collecting data for someone else or arguing the opposing side. Emotions and preconceptions often distort our view of the facts.

  2. Analyze the facts. Look at the information you've gathered from multiple angles. Try to identify possible solutions or approaches. The truth is often nuanced, so avoid binary thinking.

  3. Make a decision and act. Once you have a more complete and balanced understanding of the situation, determine the best path forward and take action. Avoid procrastinating or second-guessing your decision. Take steps to address the issue in a practical, solution-focused way.

The key is to avoid worrying by systematically and objectively analyzing the problem rather than getting stuck in anxious uncertainty. Look at the facts, consider your options, plan, and get started. The solution becomes more apparent once you start addressing the issue constructively. This approach can become a habit and help diminish chronic worrying and anxiety with practice.

The key points the author is trying to make are:

  1. Get the facts. Gather impartial facts to understand the problem thoroughly before attempting to solve it.

  2. Write down the facts and your worries. Putting worries into words helps clarify thinking and often solves half the problem.

  3. Ask yourself:

  • What am I worrying about?

  • What can I do about it? Write down the answers. This helps determine the options and choose the best course of action.

  1. Make a decision and take action. 90% of worries disappear once a decision is made and action is taken. Refrain from looking back or wavering once a decision is made.

  2. For business worries, determine if the concern is justified and within your control. Let go of unjustified fears and those outside of your control. Focus on taking constructive action on remaining fears within your control.

  3. For employee issues, show interest in the individuals, determine the facts, and take appropriate action. Refrain from making hasty decisions. Treat people with courtesy, kindness, and fairness.

  4. Do not take business worries home. Compartmentalize work and home. Relax after work to maintain a work-life balance and avoid burnout.

The key is taking a systematic approach based on facts, making careful decisions and taking action. Letting go of unjustified worries and maintaining a balanced perspective also help reduce fears and lead to greater success and well-being.

The passage describes techniques used by two business executives, Leon Shimkin and Frank Bettger, to reduce worries and increase productivity.

Leon Shimkin, a publishing executive, instituted a rule requiring associates to prepare written answers to four questions before presenting a problem:

  1. What is the problem?

  2. What is the cause of the problem?

  3. What are all possible solutions to the problem?

  4. What solution do you suggest?

Requiring written preparation reduced meeting times by 75% and increased action toward solutions.

Frank Bettger, an insurance salesman, was discouraged by low sales returns from follow-up calls that consumed much of his time. By analyzing 12 months of sales records, he found:

  • 70% of sales were made on the first call

  • 23% were made on the second call

  • Only 7% were made on further follow-up calls

He cut out most follow-up calls and focused on new prospects instead. His sales and income nearly doubled.

The passage offers four rules for reducing worries:

  1. Get the facts. Make informed decisions.

  2. Carefully weigh all facts and come to a decision.

  3. Act on the decision without anxiety.

  4. Apply the four questions (problem, cause, solutions, suggestion) to analyze issues.

The passage also provides nine suggestions for maximizing benefits from the advice, including re-reading, taking notes, and deeply desiring to learn and improve.

The author illustrates with several examples how keeping oneself busy can help crowd out worry and anxiety from one's mind.

  • Marion J. Douglas lost his two young daughters within months of each other. He was paralyzed with grief and tension. However, building a toy boat for his son helped him relax for the first time in months. He realized it is difficult to worry while doing an engaging activity requiring thinking. So he resolved to keep himself busy with various tasks and activities. Over two years, he completed 242 items that needed repair or attention in his house. He also took up various social and civic activities. As a result, he no longer had time to worry.

  • Winston Churchill and Charles Kettering were too absorbed in their demanding work during difficult times to worry. Scientists and researchers rarely have time for worry or anxiety.

  • There is a fundamental psychological law that the human mind can't think of more than one thing at a time. We must feel more enthusiastic and relaxed at the exact moment. One emotion drives out the other.

  • Army psychiatrists used this principle to treat "psychoneurotic" soldiers after battle. They kept the men engaged in constant activity, so they had no time to brood over their experiences. "Occupational therapy" is now used to refer to this approach.

  • In summary, keeping the mind occupied with an engaging activity crowds out anxious and worrying thoughts. We can only focus on one thing at a time - an action or a worry - not both simultaneously. Deliberately keeping busy is an effective strategy for overcoming fear and anxiety.

• Prescribing work as a remedy for worry and anxiety is an old idea, dating back to ancient Greek physicians.

• The Quakers used work to treat the mentally ill in the 1700s. They found that keeping patients busy improved their condition.

• Many psychiatrists and experts recommend keeping busy as an effective way to reduce worry and calm anxiety. When the mind is unoccupied, it tends to dwell on suspicions and negative thoughts. Staying busy occupies the mind and provides a distraction from these thoughts.

• Several examples are given of people who overcame worry and grief by keeping themselves occupied:

› Longfellow overcame despair after his wife's death by caring for his children.

› Tennyson said "I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair."

› A woman overcame worry about her son in WWII by taking a demanding job as a saleswoman.

› Osa Johnson overcame grief after her husband's death by attending an exhausting lecture tour.

› Admiral Byrd stayed sane during five months alone in Antarctica by rigorously scheduling his days with work and tasks.

› A businessman named Tremper Longman overcame insomnia and anxiety by filling his days with so much work that he was too exhausted to worry at night.

• The main message is that keeping the mind and body occupied with purposeful work is an effective remedy for excessive worry, anxiety, and negative thoughts. Idle time allows the mind to obsess over concern while being busy provides a distraction and a sense of purpose.

  • Brown Fruit and Extract Company invested $0.5 million in packing strawberries in tin cans and sold them to ice cream makers for 20 years.

  • Suddenly, sales stopped because big ice cream makers started buying cheaper strawberries in barrels.

  • The company was stuck with $0.5 million of unsold strawberries and contracted to buy $1 million more. They were $0.35 million in debt.

  • The CEO refused to believe the situation and blamed the N.Y. office. After pleading, he agreed to stop packing and selling fresh strawberries, solving most problems.

  • However, the narrator started worrying about everything and suffered insomnia and stress.

  • To break the habit, he started working 15-16 hours a day, exhausting himself so he could sleep. After three months, he returned to regular hours, cured of worry.

  • The lesson is: keep busy and don't dwell on worries. Action cures despair.

  • Examples show how people worry more about minor annoyances than life-threatening disasters.

  • Minor issues like space in a bunk or chewing sounds drove explorers mad in harsh conditions.

  • Trivial issues cause most marital unhappiness and many criminal cases. Minor insults and hurt pride lead to violence.

  • Eleanor Roosevelt and Catherine the Great learned to shrug off minor annoyances.

  • The narrator gave an example of a wife scolding her husband for a small mistake while carving meat, preferring a peaceful meal of hot dogs to that atmosphere.

  • Mrs. Carnegie found three napkins that didn't match the tablecloth just before the guests arrived for dinner.

  • She initially felt like crying but decided not to let it spoil the evening.

  • She went ahead with the dinner and ended up having a good time. She figured her friends would rather she be a sloppy housekeeper than a nervous, irritable one.

  • In the end, no one noticed the mismatched napkins.

  • We often worry too much about trivial things and let them negatively impact our mood and experience. We need to gain perspective and not sweat the small stuff.

  • Examples of strategies not to be bothered by trivial annoyances, like reframing them as not bothersome or realizing their insignificance in the grand scheme.

  • The chapter gives several examples of famous people who allowed themselves to become greatly troubled by relative trifles. The message is, "Life is too short to be little."

  • The story is told of a giant tree that survived countless massive storms over 400 years and was eventually felled by tiny beetles. We are prone to the same—surviving big issues but being eaten away by little worries we could crush instantly if we chose to.

  • The key takeaway is Rule 2: Don't allow yourself to be upset by small things you should despise and forget. Remember, life's too short to sweat the small stuff.

The author provides several examples of people who overcame excessive worrying by relying on the law of averages. For example:

  • Mrs. Salinger worried herself sick over 11 years, thinking something terrible had happened whenever she left the house. Her second husband, a lawyer, taught her to rely on the law of averages to overcome her worries. He would reason with her that the chances of her worst fears happening were minimal based on the law of averages. This helped her overcome her anxiety and live a peaceful life.

  • General George Crook said that most of the worries and unhappiness of Native Americans came from their imagination, not reality. The author notes that most of his concern also came from his imagination.

  • Jim Grant, a fruit distributor, used to worry himself sick about potential train wrecks, bridge collapses, and other disasters ruining his shipments. But when he considered that he had shipped 25,000 railcars over the years and only five were ever wrecked, he realized the chances of something happening were minuscule. He learned to let the law of averages do the worrying for him.

  • Al Smith, former N.Y. governor, would respond to political attacks by saying, "Let's examine the record." The author notes we should do the same with our worries and see the factual basis. Frederick Mahlstedt did this when worrying he was in his "grave" in a trench in Normandy during WWII. After a few days of surviving, he calculated his chances of being directly hit in his narrow channel were tiny. This calmed him.

  • The U.S. Navy used statistics to show sailors that most tankers survived torpedo hits and the chance of dying was slight. This eased worries for sailors like Clyde Maas.

The critical lesson is to Examine the facts and statistics to determine the likelihood of your worries happening. Rely on the law of averages to overcome excessive anxiety and live peacefully. Don't let worries break you - analyze them rationally.

  • The author tells the story of when he accidentally tore off his finger as a child. Although it was scary initially, he quickly accepted that it couldn't be changed and moved on without worrying about it much.

  • He cites other examples of people accepting losses or disabilities and adjusting well due to acceptance. The key is to get what cannot be changed instead of ruining your life with rebellion and resentment.

  • When the author's nephew was killed in World War 2, his aunt Elizabeth initially felt her world had collapsed. However, after finding an old letter from her nephew urging her to accept whatever comes with courage, she can move on from her grief. She found joy and meaning again by throwing herself into work and new interests.

  • The author argues that we must learn to accept circumstances we cannot change rather than railing against them in bitterness. Our reactions determine our happiness more than external events alone. With acceptance and courage, we can endure great hardships.

  • The author cites Booth Tarkington as an example. Although Tarkington had always feared blindness, he maintained a positive spirit when he started losing sight. Through over a dozen painful eye operations, he focused on the wonders of medical science and considered himself fortunate. He learned that nothing was beyond his ability to endure.

  • In conclusion, while we should not passively accept all misfortune, we must accept what we cannot change. Rebelling against the inevitable only makes us miserable without altering anything. We can confront life's hardships with the calm strength of animals if we cultivate acceptance.

The key message is that we should learn to accept inevitable situations and events that we cannot control or change—resisting the inevitable leads to worry, anxiety, and mental distress. It is better to bend and adapt to circumstances we cannot alter. Some examples that illustrate this:

  1. Successful business people have learned to accept inevitable downturns in business cycles and not worry excessively about factors outside their control.

  2. The philosopher Epictetus said, "There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things beyond the power of our will."

  3. The actress Sarah Bernhardt accepted the amputation of her leg with equanimity, saying, "If it has to be, it has to be." She knew how to cooperate with the inevitable.

  4. Trees that bend with the weight of ice and snow survive, while those that resist break. We should "bend like the willow, not resist like the oak."

  5. Tyres that absorb shocks last longer. We should learn to absorb life's difficulties, not resist them. Resisting leads to inner conflict and distress.

  6. A former biscuit salesman learned to overcome worries about his dangerous job loading explosives onto ships by accepting that worrying would not change anything and that "you can't expect to live forever!" He learned to co-operate with the inevitable.

  7. The death of Socrates shows how to face even death itself with calmness and acceptance. His jailer said, "Try to bear lightly what needs must be."

  8. The serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr captures the essence of this message in just 27 words: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."

The key lesson is: to accept what cannot be changed, change what can be changed, and have the wisdom to know the difference. Co-operating with the inevitable is Rule 4 for breaking the worry habit.

  • The author learned an important lesson from a successful stock trader, Charles Roberts. Roberts always put a "stop-loss order" on his stock purchases, meaning he would automatically sell if the stock declined a certain amount. This limited his potential losses.

  • The author wishes he had applied this same principle to other areas of his life - to limit annoyance, resentment, impatience, and other negative emotions. He says it would have saved him much distress.

  • The author gives an example from his own life. He spent two years writing a novel that publishers rejected. At first, he was stunned, but he eventually accepted the loss and moved on, focusing on nonfiction writing instead. He says this was like putting a stop-loss order on his worries.

  • The author quotes Henry David Thoreau, who said the cost of something is the amount of life required to get it. The author says we are foolish when we "overpay" for things.

  • The author gives the example of Gilbert and Sullivan, who created delightful operas but embittered their lives through resentment and quarreling. They could not limit the losses that Lincoln had. Lincoln did not hold resentments or spend time quarreling.

  • The author's Aunt Edith held onto resentment for almost 50 years over a minor incident. The author told her she was worse than the person who wronged her because of the distress she caused herself.

  • Benjamin Franklin recalled falling in love with a whistle as a boy, paying too much for it, and then crying when teased by his siblings. Franklin said many people "pay too much for the whistle" - that is, they overreact to minor incidents in a way that causes them distress. The lesson was valuable to Franklin, even though remembering the incident caused him chagrin 70 years later.

In summary, the author argues we should limit the distress we allow incidents to cause us. We should not "overpay" by obsessing over or resenting events in a way that robs us of peace of mind and happiness. Putting "stop-loss orders" on negative emotions can help us let go of resentment and find contentment.

The critical point is that worrying about past events that cannot be changed is futile and harmful. The author uses several examples and stories to illustrate this.

  1. He points out that worrying about dinosaur tracks made 180 million years ago would be ridiculous. Similarly, it is foolish to worry about events that happened just 180 seconds ago since we cannot change them. While we can learn from the past, we should not dwell on it or worry excessively about it.

  2. The author shares a story of losing over $300,000 in a failed business venture due to poor financial management and excessive spending. He admits he should have accepted the losses and learned from his mistakes instead of worrying excessively for months. However, he could have done so and repeated similar mistakes. He laments, not knowing the lesson, that "it is easier to teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of twenty to follow mine own teaching."

  3. The author shares a story from Allen Saunders, who learned from his teacher, Mr. Brandwine, not to "cry over spilled milk." The teacher demonstrated this lesson by dramatically pouring a bottle of milk down the drain and telling the students to forget about it since worrying cannot undo the action. Saunders learned that it is best to prevent mistakes and losses, but once they happen, forget about them and move on.

  4. The author acknowledges that sayings like "don't cry over spilled milk" are familiar platitudes, but they express profound wisdom. If people applied such wisdom instead of dismissing them, they could avoid excessive worry and live better lives. However, knowledge of the application is practical. The purpose of the book is to persuade readers to apply this wisdom.

In summary, the key message is to avoid futilely dwelling on past events that cannot be changed. Learn from your mistakes and losses, then forget them and move forward productively. Do not "cry over spilled milk." Accept what has happened and work to prevent future problems instead.

• Your thoughts determine your mental attitude and destiny. The biggest problem you have to deal with is choosing the right ideas.

• If you think happy thoughts, you will be satisfied. If you think of failure, you will fail. Your thoughts make you what you are.

• Do not worry but be concerned about problems. Concern means realizing problems and taking action. Worrying means going in useless circles.

• Even in difficult times, maintain a positive mental attitude. Lowell Thomas faced huge debts but remained unworried, thinking courageous thoughts and refusing defeat.

• Your mental attitude affects your physical abilities. In an experiment, three men were told to expect increased, decreased, or unchanged strength. Their grip strength changed as they were told to expect. Your thoughts can strengthen or weaken you.

• Choose positive, optimistic thoughts. Do not dwell on unhealthy thoughts. Think courage, faith, hope, and confidence. Make a habit of praise and compliment.

• The combination of positive thoughts, positive speech, and positive actions will transform your life. Eight words can determine your destiny: "Our life is what our thoughts make it."

The experimenter tested people's grip strength under three conditions:

  1. Normal waking state: Average grip strength was 101 pounds

  2. Under hypnosis believing they were weak: Average grip strength was 29 pounds (less than a third of ordinary)

  3. Under hypnosis believing they were strong: Average grip strength was 142 pounds (almost five times more than when considering they were weak)

This shows the incredible power of our mental attitude.

To further illustrate this, the story of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, is told. After a bad fall on ice that left her paralyzed, she read a Bible verse about Jesus healing a paralyzed man. She said this gave her such faith that she immediately got up and walked, fully recovered. This experience led her to discover the "science of mind healing" and found Christian Science.

Another example is Frank Whaley, who suffered from extreme worrying and a severe nervous breakdown. A letter from his father and a sermon told him he needed to change his thinking. He realized he had been wanting to change everything else when he needed to change himself. Once he gained this perspective, he recovered and went on to have a successful life.

The conclusion is that our peace of mind and happiness depend on our mental attitude, not our circumstances. Adjusting our thinking can help overcome worry, fear, and illness and transform our lives.

  • John Brown, hanged for attempting a slave rebellion, remained calm on his way to the gallows. He enjoyed the scenery and said, "What a beautiful country!". His attitude shows we can remain calm in difficult situations by maintaining a positive mindset.

  • Robert Falcon Scott and his crew endured immense hardship and starvation during their expedition to the South Pole. They died singing cheerful songs, showing that we can endure hardship with courage and positivity. Our attitude is within our control.

  • Milton said, "The mind is its place, and in itself Can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.". Napoleon and Helen Keller prove this. Napoleon had glory and power but was unhappy, while Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf, found life beautiful. Our peace comes from within, not external events.

  • Epictetus said we should be more concerned with our thoughts than physical ailments. Modern medicine agrees, with many illnesses being caused or worsened by stress and emotions. Montaigne said, "A man is not hurt so much by what happens as by his opinion of what happens." - our opinions are within our control.

  • We can change our emotions by first changing our actions and behavior. Putting on a smile and acting cheerful can make us feel positive. This works like "plastic surgery" on emotions. Examples are given of a perpetually unhappy older woman and a man with a fatal illness who overcame it by changing his attitude.

  • The book "As a Man Thinketh" says that a man's thoughts shape his life and destiny. By controlling our thoughts, we can rise and achieve. We have dominion over our minds and spirit. Positive thinking can work miracles.

In summary, maintaining a positive and courageous mindset in the face of difficulty can help us find inner peace and even overcome hardship. Our thoughts and attitudes are within our control, and by focusing on cheerful and optimistic thinking, we can transform our lives.

Here are the key points from the passages:

  1. We should not seek revenge or try to get even with those who hurt us. Doing so will only cause us more harm and unhappiness. It is not worth the cost.

  2. When we hate our enemies and seek revenge, we give them power over us. We damage our well-being, health, and happiness. Our hate and resentment mainly hurt us, not them.

  3. Forgiving others and letting go of resentment is good for our health and longevity. Chronic anger and resentment can lead to health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, etc.

  4. Not seeking revenge and instead forgiving others also helps us maintain inner peace and happiness. It allows us to enjoy life more rather than being consumed by negative feelings.

  5. Seeking revenge through hateful actions also damages our relationships and causes us to appear unpleasant to others. In contrast, forgiveness and compassion make us much more attractive to others.

  6. Even from a practical business perspective, forgiveness and letting go of the desire for revenge is smart. Staying angry at those who offend or hurt us can blind us to valuable lessons or opportunities for growth that the situation presents. It is better to remain objective and open-minded.

  7. The healthiest approach is forgiving others for our well-being and then moving on from the situation. We should not let the offense or the person who hurt us control our happiness and health. Staying angry only punishes us, not them.

In summary, seeking revenge through hating our enemies comes at too high a cost. Forgiving others is always better for our well-being and happiness than trying to get even. Letting go of resentment and a desire for revenge frees us and allows us to live healthy lives surrounded by people who appreciate us.

  • Forgive your enemies and forget the wrongs they have done to you. Continuing to dwell on hatred and resentment will only harm you. Forgiveness is the wise and healthy thing to do.

  • Do not let the insults and attacks of your enemies disturb or humiliate you. You have the power not to let their actions affect you.

  • Become absorbed in some cause greater than yourself. Focus on things that matter so that enemies' petty concerns do not bother you. For example, Laurence Jones was too devoted to educating disadvantaged children to hate the men who tried to lynch him.

  • Ultimately, we are all products of our circumstances. We would act the same way if we had the same experiences, challenges, and traits as our enemies. Instead of judging them, try to understand and forgive them.

  • Follow the teachings of Jesus and love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. This will give you inner peace.

  • Like Lincoln, do not judge people based on whether you like or dislike them. Appoint the right person for the job regardless of their relationship with you. Do not condemn or criticize others for things outside of their control. Life experiences mold everyone.

  • Forgive and help your enemies rather than seek revenge or retribution against them. Understanding, sympathy, and compassion are better responses than hatred.

That covers the key highlights and main advice from the selected passages regarding dealing with enemies and adversity wisely and conscientiously.

Seek not gratitude or appreciation from others, for it is rare and unrealistic to expect. Instead, cultivate a giving attitude for the joy and fulfillment it brings you. Focus on being grateful for what you have rather than expecting gratitude from others. Do not be surprised or resentful when ingratitude comes, for it is human nature. Find happiness within yourself through living a life of purpose, generosity, and meaning.

The passage discusses the dangers of ingratitude and worrying about unimportant things. It shares several examples of people who maintained a positive attitude despite facing far more difficult circumstances:

  • Harold Abbott learned not to worry after seeing a double amputee smiling and cheerful on the street. He realized he was far better off in comparison.

  • Eddie Rickenbacker said the biggest lesson from being lost at sea was realizing that you should never complain if you have enough food and water.

  • A sergeant who had been severely wounded in battle asked if he would live and be able to talk again. When he said yes, he responded, "Then what in the hell am I worrying about?"

  • We tend to focus on the 10% wrong in our lives rather than the 90% right. We should concentrate on being grateful for what we have.

  • The phrase "Think and Thank" reminds us to be grateful for all the good things in our lives.

  • Jonathan Swift said, "Doctor Merryman" (i.e., cheerfulness and happiness) is the best doctor. We can tap into this for free by appreciating all our riches.

  • John Palmer almost ruined his business and marriage by constantly worrying and complaining. A disabled employee told him he had much to be thankful for and should stop complaining. Palmer realized he was right and changed his attitude.

The passage argues we should maintain an attitude of gratitude, focus on the positives in our lives, and not worry about unimportant things. Comparing ourselves to those less fortunate can help put our worries in perspective.

  • The story is about Lucile Blake, a woman who had to face a health crisis before learning to appreciate what she had.

  • Lucile met the author while studying writing. Nine years ago, she collapsed and was told to rest in bed for a year. She was devastated.

  • A neighbor told her she would grow spiritually from the experience. She started reading inspiring books and focusing on positive thoughts. She made a habit of counting her blessings each day.

  • Lucile recovered and led an active life. She was grateful for that problematic year that taught her how to live. Like Dr. Johnson said, focusing on the positive is worth a lot.

  • The author discusses an inspiring blind woman, Borghild Dahl, who refused to let her disability hold her back. Even simple things like dishwashing brought her joy. We should appreciate the beauty around us.

  • The author shares a letter from Edith Allred, a shy and unhappy woman. Her mother-in-law's remark about "being themselves" changed her life. She studied herself, played to her strengths, made friends, and gained self-confidence. She taught her children to be themselves.

  • Many problems come from not accepting yourself. Everyone wants to be something they're not, especially in Hollywood. The most significant challenge for directors is actors need to be themselves.

  • You must find yourself and be yourself. There is no one else like you. Accept yourself and make the most of your strengths.

The key message is to accept yourself for who you are and focus on developing your strengths rather than wishing you were someone else. Appreciate life's simple blessings each day.

  • Young actors often try to imitate established stars rather than being themselves. This does not work. Audiences and directors want something new and unique.

  • The same applies to business. Employees get nowhere by imitating others. Employers want to see people's genuine qualities.

  • Many people do not achieve their full potential because they fail to be themselves. They have unique talents and abilities but do not use them.

  • The author learned this lesson the hard way. Early in his acting career, he tried to imitate famous actors. He later did the same thing when writing a book on public speaking, borrowing from many other writers. He eventually realized he needed to be himself.

  • Many famous people, like Charlie Chaplin, Will Rogers, and Mary Margaret McBride, struggled initially because they imitated others. They became successful once they started acting naturally and being themselves.

  • Each person is unique, with a unique set of experiences, environment, and heredity. People must accept themselves as they are and cultivate their talents. Success comes from developing your authentic self, not imitating others.

The key message is that being yourself and nurturing your unique talents is the path to success and fulfillment. Imitating others leads nowhere. Each person has something distinctive to offer the world.

The key message is to not complain about unfortunate circumstances but make the best of them. As Emerson said, "What a man can do is what he can do." Instead of lamenting one's situation, one should find the opportunity or lesson and turn "lemons into lemonade."

Several examples are given to illustrate this message:

  1. Thelma Thompson was miserable living in the Mojave Desert but appreciated its beauty and adventure. She changed her attitude and wrote a novel about her experience.

  2. A farmer in Florida turned a worthless farm full of rattlesnakes into a thriving tourist attraction and business selling rattlesnake products. He capitalized on what others would have seen as a liability.

  3. Ben Fortson lost both legs in an accident at age 24 but overcame bitterness and resentment. He cultivated his mind and spirit, read many books, enjoyed music, and gained a new perspective on life's values. Despite being in a wheelchair, he became Secretary of State of Georgia.

  4. Many see not having a college degree as a disadvantage, but the author knows many successful people without a degree. A degree is optional to success or gaining an education.

The key is having a positive and determined attitude. Rather than feel sorry for oneself in the face of difficulties or setbacks, look for opportunities and lessons. With hard work and perseverance, turn misfortune into gain.

  • The author tells a story of a man named C.R. Burton who overcame a difficult childhood and conquered his worries.

  • Burton lost his mother when he was nine and his father when he was 12. His mother abandoned the family and took his two sisters. His father died in a car accident a few years later.

  • Burton and his brother were orphaned. No one wanted to take them in except for a poor, elderly couple, the Loftins. Mr. Loftin took them in so they do not lie, steal or disobey.

  • Burton had a difficult time in school. The other children bullied and teased him, calling him names like "orphan brat." He wanted to fight back, but Mr. Loftin told him, "It takes a bigger man to walk away from a fight." However, Burton eventually beat up a boy who threw chicken manure in his face. This earned him a couple of friends.

  • A girl ruined the new cap Mrs. Loftin bought for Burton by filling it with water. She insulted him, saying the water would "wet [his] thick skull and keep [his] popcorn brains from popping."

  • Burton never cried in school but would call at home. Mrs. Loftin eventually gave him advice that helped him overcome his worries and turn his enemies into friends.

  • The story shows how Burton overcame a difficult upbringing and childhood bullying to conquer his worries, thanks to the kindness and advice of the Loftins. Their wisdom and care helped transform his life.

  • The author, Ralph Burton, was orphaned and often teased by other children who called him an "orphan brat."

  • His teacher advised him to show interest in the other children and help them. He followed her advice, studied hard, and helped other students with schoolwork. He wrote essays, debates, and book reviews for them.

  • Due to deaths in the neighborhood, Ralph became the only male in four families. He helped the widows by cutting wood, milking cows, and feeding livestock. He was then accepted and appreciated by everyone.

  • When Ralph returned from the Navy, over 200 farmers came to see him, showing their sincere concern for him. He has not been called an "orphan brat" for 13 years.

  • Like Ralph, Dr. Frank Loope found purpose and meaning in life by helping others through letters and his organization "Shut-in Society." This allowed him to enjoy life despite being bedridden for 23 years due to arthritis.

  • The psychiatrist Alfred Adler said melancholic patients could be cured in 14 days by thinking of how to please someone daily. This removes their desire for revenge or to accuse others.

  • Mrs. William T. Moon overcame her sadness from losing her husband by thinking of how to please orphans on Christmas Eve. She invited two orphans for Christmas dinner and gifts, finding new meaning and purpose.

  • The key message is that we can overcome worry, fear, and melancholy by focusing on others rather than ourselves. Serving and pleasing others gives life meaning and purpose.

The author went on an adventure and ended up in an unfamiliar town. Feeling lonely, she went into a church and fell asleep. When she woke up, she saw two orphaned children frightened of her. She reassured them, treated them to refreshments, bought them presents, and spent time with them. Interacting with these children made the author realize how fortunate she was to have loving parents as a child. It lifted her spirits and made her forget her worries and troubles.

The author cites other examples of people who overcame their troubles by helping others. Margaret Yates was a person with a disability who rarely left her bed. However, she coordinated information when Pearl Harbor was attacked and helped military families locate their loved ones. This experience gave Yates a sense of purpose and strength, allowing her to get out of bed and become active again.

The author argues that many people who see psychiatrists would benefit from focusing on others rather than themselves. While life may seem dull or humdrum, there are always opportunities to show interest in others, whether the postal worker, grocery clerk, or shoe shiner. Doing good for others leads to greater happiness and satisfaction. Several philosophers and thinkers have extolled the virtues of enlightened self-interest and being good to others.

The author cites Professor William Lyon Phelps, who said kind words to everyone he encountered, showing interest in them as individuals. This small act brightened their day and made many friends for Phelps. The author argues that taking an interest in others can lift one's own spirits and make life more fun and social.

  • The author grew up on a poor farm in Missouri with hardworking parents who struggled to make ends meet.

  • His family rarely had any cash and lived on what they could produce themselves or trade for at the grocery store. The author rarely had any money to spend as a child.

  • The author had a difficult life, walking miles to a one-room schoolhouse in frigid weather without proper shoes. His family worked 16 hours a day but were constantly in debt and faced hard luck, including frequent flooding that destroyed their crops.

  • One year, they grew a large corn crop and bought cattle to fatten and sell, but cattle prices dropped, and they only made a $30 profit after a year's work. They frequently lost money on their investments and work.

  • Despite their difficult circumstances, the author's parents maintained an optimistic attitude. His mother said, "We can't control the floods, so why worry about them?" His father said, "Hard luck won't last forever. We've got to sweat it out."

  • The author learned from his parents' example and optimistic spirit in the face of adversity. Their ability to endure misfortune without bitterness or self-pity served as an inspiration. Worrying and complaining does no good; the only constructive response is optimism, courage, and perseverance.

The key message is that we can overcome worry by maintaining an optimistic and persevering attitude, even under challenging circumstances beyond our control. The author's parents demonstrated this through their complicated lives full of misfortune and hardship, yet they could endure without bitterness or excessive worry. Their example inspired the author with this crucial lesson.

The author's parents went through immense financial hardship for over 10 years. His father was deeply worried and depressed due to the debts and threats from the bank. The author's mother, however, remained steadfast in her faith in God. She prayed daily and relied on her religious beliefs to stay positive. Her optimism and confidence eventually helped the family prevail over their difficulties.

The author was initially religious like his mother but became disillusioned with religion as he got educated in science and philosophy. He started doubting many religious doctrines and became agnostic. He believed life was meaningless and aimless. However, over time, he came to appreciate religion for the meaning and more prosperous life it provides. He realized one can only understand some of the mysteries of faith or life to benefit from them. Religion, like science, can be used to improve one's life.

The author argues that religion banishes worries and fears, provides purpose and direction in life, and improves happiness and health. Many psychologists and psychiatrists now recognize the benefits of religion and faith. The author cites examples of Henry Ford and Dr. Henry Link to illustrate this. He says that if religion is not valid, life becomes meaningless. The Christian faith, in particular, promotes an abundant life as Jesus taught. In his time, Jesus rebelled against the empty rituals and strict rules of religion and preached loving God and one's neighbor. The author concludes that what makes one a Christian is following Jesus's teachings, not just attending church. His father-in-law is an example of such a Christian though he considers himself agnostic.

In summary, the author makes a case for religion by focusing on its practical benefits for well-being and happiness rather than questions of doctrine or belief. He sees true religion as consisting of spiritual values and purpose rather than mere ritual. One can lead a more prosperous, joyful life as Jesus intended by embracing such a view of religion.

  • The story is about a woman named Mary Cushman who went through immense suffering and worry during the Great Depression. She had five children to feed, but her husband's salary was only $18 a week. They lost their house and owed $50 to the grocery store. One day, her son was falsely accused of stealing pencils which caused her immense anguish. In a moment of desperation, she tried to commit suicide along with her young daughter by shutting the windows and turning on the gas heater without lighting it.

  • However, she changed her mind upon hearing the hymn 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus' on the radio. She realized she had tried to fight her battles alone instead of turning to God for help. She prayed for forgiveness and thanked God for her blessings. Though things remained difficult, her situation gradually improved. She believes most people who commit suicide or go insane do so because they lack religious faith and the solace of prayer.

  • Many renowned figures like Carl Jung, the famous psychiatrist, and Mahatma Gandhi have said prayer and faith are essential for mental health and well-being. The author's father contemplated suicide at one point but was saved by his mother's prayers. The author recommends stopping by churches for a few minutes of prayer and reflection, even on busy weekdays, as it can provide spiritual and mental relief.

  • The story provides an example of a book salesman named John R. Anthony, who was unsuccessful in his work despite being well-trained and prepared. However, his sales and income dramatically increased once he started praying for 10-15 minutes before each sales call. He realized that though self-confidence and enthusiasm were necessary, prayer gave him inner strength and calmness, making him much more effective. Faith in God took away his fear of failure and worry. Prayer made the difference between success and failure in his career.

In summary, the key message is that religious faith, prayer, and turning to God can help provide solace, strength, and calmness in times of immense suffering, worry, and anguish. It can make the difference between happiness and misery, success and failure. Though self-confidence and hard work are necessary, faith in a higher power is essential for well-being and peace of mind.

The critical points in the summary are:

  1. The author was having a tough time as a salesman. He couldn't get any orders and was discouraged.

  2. His family needed money, but he had none. He was worried and didn't know what to do.

  3. In despair, he turned to God and prayed for guidance and help one night. He read Bible verses about not worrying and trusting God.

  4. After praying, he felt at peace. His worries and anxieties disappeared. He felt confident and hopeful.

  5. The next day, his sales dramatically improved. His inner attitude had changed, even though his external situation was the same. He learned that with God's help, he could overcome difficulties.

  6. The author shares other examples of people who found peace through prayer during hard times. Even very successful "he-men" prayed often.

  7. Many prominent and influential people have relied on prayer and faith in God to guide them. The author cites examples of military leaders, business people, scientists, and others.

  8. The summary is that faith, prayer, and reliance on God can give people inner strength, peace, and guidance to help them through life's challenges and worries. Our "deepest destiny" can be fulfilled by opening ourselves to God's influence.

  • When we pray, we tap into a power greater than ourselves to help us through difficult times.

  • Prayer helps in three main ways:

  1. It helps us articulate our problems and worries. Putting worries into words helps make them feel more manageable.

  2. Prayer makes us feel less alone. It gives us a sense of comfort that we can share our burdens with something greater than ourselves.

  3. Prayer spurs us into action. Repeatedly praying for something helps motivate us to take steps to achieve it.

  • The example of Admiral Byrd shows how prayer and faith in something greater gave him the strength to survive being trapped alone in harsh, dangerous conditions.

  • The example of Glenn Arnold shows how prayer helped give him the strength and guidance to overcome failure and despair.

  • According to William James, religious faith brings calmness and fortitude because it connects us to deeper, more permanent realities. Surface troubles seem more trivial in comparison.

  • Prayer can benefit anyone, even skeptics, because it fulfills basic human needs: articulating problems, feeling less alone, and motivating action.

  • The advice is to pray to God, asking for a renewal of faith and guidance. Repeat the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi for help in becoming an instrument of peace, hope, light, and joy.

  • The anecdote about Robert Hutchins illustrates that essential or prominent people often face more severe criticism. But as Hutchins' father said, "no one ever kicks a dead dog." The more prominent the person, the more satisfaction others get from attacking them.

  • The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) attended Dartmouth Naval College when he was 14. One day, the commodore found him crying because the naval cadets had been kicking him. The cadets admitted they did it to say they had kicked the King later.

  • People often criticize others for feeling important or getting a sense of satisfaction from putting down those more successful than themselves. For example, a former Yale president harshly criticized Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Explorer Robert Peary and General Ulysses S. Grant also faced unjust criticism from jealous superiors.

  • Criticism often says more about the critic than the target. Don't take unjust criticism personally. No one cares as much about you as you do. Even Jesus and Eleanor Roosevelt faced frequent criticism.

  • You can't avoid all criticism, but you can choose not to let unjust criticism disturb you. Do what you believe is right. Eleanor Roosevelt's aunt told her: "Never be bothered by what people say, as long as you know in your heart you are right."

  • Criticism used to bother the president of American International Corporation. He tried to please every critic but realized that was impossible. The only thing that works is having a clear conscience about your actions.

  • The key is not letting unjust criticism get under your skin or disturb your serenity and confidence in yourself. Stay focused on your goals and values, not what others say about you.

  • Dale Carnegie kept records of his mistakes and follies in a folder marked "FTD," which stood for "Fool Things I Have Done." Reviewing these mistakes helped him better manage himself.

  • Successful businessman H.P. Howell reviewed his work week every Saturday night to see his mistakes and how he could improve. This self-analysis helped him become very successful.

  • Ben Franklin fought against one of his faults each week for two years to overcome his shortcomings. This helped make him an influential leader.

  • We should welcome criticism and see it as an opportunity to learn. Even intelligent and accomplished people like Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Einstein admitted to making many mistakes.

  • Our enemies' opinions of us are often more accurate than ours. We should not get overly defensive in the face of criticism but consider it objectively.

  • The more Carnegie tried to avoid and alleviate criticism, the more enemies he made. It is better to do your best, accept that criticism will come, and not let it bother you. Laughing in the face of unjust criticism and not engaging further is often the best response.

  • Leaders like Lincoln maintained their poise and sense of humor in the face of criticism. They focused on addressing legitimate critique instead of responding to personal attacks.

In summary, successful people maintain an attitude of humility and objectivity about themselves. They regularly review their performance and see opportunities to improve in criticism and setbacks. By developing this thick skin and focusing on what they can control, they can achieve above their critics and learn from their enemies. Maintaining grace and humor in the face of personal attacks is critical to keeping this success-oriented perspective.

  • Fatigue often leads to worry and lowers our resistance to negative emotions. Preventing fatigue helps prevent anxiety.

  • Rule 1: Rest often, before you get tired. Fatigue accumulates quickly—even short rests, like 10 minutes every hour, help. Leaders like Churchill, Rockefeller, and Ford napped daily and attributed their success and longevity to frequent rest.

  • Rest repairs the body and mind. Even a short 5-minute nap provides benefits. Resting the eyes for 20 minutes helps Eleanor Roosevelt handle exhausting schedules. Gene Autry napped for an hour between performances. Edison slept whenever he wanted.

  • The key is to rest whenever possible - sit if you can't lie down or lie down if you can't. This approach helped leaders like Horace Mann and Henry Ford stay energized into old age.

  • The director Jack Chertock was exhausted but revived his energy by following this approach, napping in his office and resting whenever possible. His productivity and morale improved dramatically as a result.

  • In summary, to add an hour of wakefulness and energy to your day, rest as often as possible before fatigue sets in. Take short breaks and naps, sit when you can't lie, and lie down when sitting is the best you can do. This simple approach pays enormous dividends for productivity, health, and managing worry.

• Mental work alone does not cause fatigue. Scientists found that the human brain shows no signs of fatigue even after hours of mental work.

• Most fatigue comes from our mental and emotional attitudes, such as boredom, resentment, anxiety, and worry. These create tensions and nervous exhaustion.

• Hard physical work rarely causes fatigue that rest cannot cure. Worry, tension, and emotional upsets are more significant causes of fatigue. Tense muscles require energy.

• People often tense their muscles unnecessarily when doing mental work, believing that looking strained means working hard. But tension only wastes energy.

• The key to overcoming nervous fatigue is learning to relax. Relaxing is a habit that can be developed.

• To relax, relax your muscles, especially the eyes' powers. The eyes burn a lot of energy, so relaxing them helps the whole body relax.

• To relax, think of yourself as limp as an old sock. Relaxation means an absence of tension and effort. Start by relaxing your eyes, face, jaw, neck, shoulders, etc.

• You can relax in short moments throughout the day. The key is not to try to relax but to think with ease and relaxation.

In summary, reducing tension and relaxing the body and mind can help overcome fatigue and increase energy and productivity. Relaxing is a habit that can be learned and developed through conscious effort and practice.

  1. Relaxation techniques: Repeating phrases like "Let go...let go...let go and relax." Releasing tension from your face and body and imagining yourself as relaxed as a baby. These techniques can help reduce anxiety and prevent fatigue.

  2. Relax in short moments. Let your body go limp. Study how relaxed cats are and try to emulate them. Check yourself during the day and release any unnecessary tension. Measure your tiredness and see if it's due to inefficient relaxation.

  3. Work in a comfortable position. Tensions in the body lead to fatigue and health issues.

  4. Talk to others about your worries. Share your troubles to gain relief through catharsis. Discussing problems can provide new perspectives and insights. Options include talking to a relative, doctor, lawyer, or anonymous help lines.

  5. Keep an inspiration book of uplifting quotes, poems, and prayers. Read it when you need an emotional boost.

  6. Don't dwell on the faults of others, like your spouse. Appreciate their good qualities instead. List your spouse's positive attributes to gain a balanced view.

  7. Get out of the house and engage in new activities. Join a club to prevent isolation and give you mental stimulation. Take a class on something that interests you.

  8. Do small exercises like neck rolls, shoulder rotations or leg lifts when doing housework or sitting. Gentle yoga or walking also provide light activity.

  9. Eat a balanced, nutritious diet and stay hydrated. Your physical health influences your mood and stress levels. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake.

  10. Get enough rest and sleep. Lack of sleep contributes to irritability, worry, and health issues. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.

  11. Take occasional mini-vacations. Get a new perspective by briefly leaving your usual environment. Read a frivolous book or call a friend.

  12. Seek professional help from a doctor or therapist if needed. If you are experiencing chronic anxiety, depression, or other issues, professional support can help you develop coping strategies and find solutions.

  13. Develop a friendly interest in your neighbors and those around you. Try to imagine their lives and backgrounds. Start conversations with people and connect with them. This can help combat loneliness and improve your well-being.

  14. Make a schedule for the next day before going to bed. This can help you feel less overwhelmed, accomplish more, and have time for yourself. Feeling in control of your tasks can reduce stress and worry.

  15. Relax and avoid tension. Lying down, stretching, meditating, and deep breathing are some techniques to relax your body and mind. Reducing stress and fatigue will make you feel and look better.

  16. Have good working habits:

a) Clear your desk of all papers except those relating to the immediate task. A cluttered desk can breed confusion, stress, and health issues. Finishing tasks and having an orderly space leads to efficiency and well-being.

b) Do things in order of importance. The ability to prioritize and focus on essential matters is rare but invaluable. Planning your day and tackling priorities first can lead to greater productivity and less worry.

c) Answer letters and emails immediately. Unanswered correspondence clutters your desk and mind, creating more to-dos and anxiety. Responding promptly reduces unfinished business and gives you a sense of control.

d) Make quick decisions when possible. Delaying or avoiding decisions leads to worry, inefficiency, and health issues. A habit of resolving questions and problems immediately leads to clarity, progress, and peace of mind.

In summary, developing good habits, connecting with others, relaxing, and avoiding excessive worry or unfinished business can help reduce stress and improve well-being and productivity. Maintaining a balanced and meaningful life is critical.

  • The author emphasizes the importance of planning and organizing one's day. He gives the example of a successful insurance salesman who plans his day the night before and sets concrete goals. If he fails to meet them, he adds them to the next day's dreams.

  • The author recommends solving problems as soon as you have enough information to decide instead of procrastinating. He shares the example of a former student who convinced the U.S. Steel board of directors to discuss one issue at a time until a decision was reached. This approach reduced worry and made the meetings more efficient.

  • The author recommends learning how to delegate responsibilities to others. Many business leaders drive themselves to exhaustion by refusing to charge. Delegation is difficult but necessary to avoid fatigue, worry, and tension.

  • Boredom is a major cause of fatigue, worry, and resentment. The author shares several examples and studies showing how boredom negatively impacts energy, metabolism, and productivity. Interest and excitement, on the other hand, can combat fatigue.

  • The author says that the amount of work is rarely the sole cause of fatigue for mental workers. Uncompleted tasks, interruptions, frustration, and resentment contribute significantly to fatigue. The remedy is to find ways to make work exciting and enjoyable.

The key ideas are: plan and organize, make prompt decisions, learn to delegate, combat boredom, and maintain a positive and engaged attitude. Following these principles can help reduce fatigue, worry, and resentment.

  • Acting interested in your work can make you genuinely interested and decrease fatigue, tension, and worry.

  • The "as if" philosophy suggests acting as if you have a certain quality, like courage or happiness, can help develop that quality. Acting interested in work can cultivate genuine interest.

  • Making a dull job interesting paid off for the stenographer, Vallie G. Golden. She changed her attitude and discovered that enjoying her work made her work faster and gained her a promotion.

  • Harlan A. Howard studied how to make ice cream and turned his dull job into an exciting study. His interest and initiative led to opportunities, a career, and eventual success.

  • Samuel Vauclain turned a tedious job into a race and competition, impressing his boss and gaining promotions, eventually leading him to become president of Baldwin Locomotive Works.

  • H. V. Kaltenborn made selling stereoscopes in France enjoyable by giving himself daily pep talks, imagining he was an actor, and maintaining a sense of humor. His determination to complete the job lovely helped him succeed.

  • Giving yourself daily pep talks and focusing on positive qualities like courage, happiness, and gratitude can help make any job more exciting and happier. Reminding yourself of the benefits of interest in your work, like increased happiness and opportunity, can motivate you to cultivate that interest.

In summary, choosing to make a dull job more interesting through a change in attitude and mental approach can have significant benefits. Acting with interest and enthusiasm, studying the work, turning it into a game, giving yourself pep talks, and focusing on the benefits of interest can help transform both the job and your experience. The rewards of an exciting job are substantial. With determination, you can make almost any work stimulating and meaningful.

  • Working at a job will help take your mind off your worries and anxieties. In the long run, work can lead to promotion, pay increases, less fatigue, and more leisure time enjoyment.

  • Don't worry about insomnia or lack of sleep. Like lawyer Samuel Untermyer, many successful people slept little but led productive lives. The exact amount of sleep each person needs varies. Some, like conductor Arturo Toscanini, require only a few hours. Others, like President Calvin Coolidge, need much more.

  • Worrying about lack of sleep often causes more harm than the lack of sleep itself. Insomnia alone has not been shown to cause death, but worrying about it can damage your health and vitality. People who claim they didn't sleep at all often sleep more than they realize.

  • Feeling secure and relaxed is essential to falling asleep. Prayer, meditation, or techniques like consciously relaxing your muscles can help induce sleep. Physical exercise during the day also helps make you tired at night. If your mind is active at night, doing a mundane task until you feel drowsy can help.

  • In summary, don't worry about lack of sleep. Keep your mind occupied, practice relaxation techniques, tire yourself physically, and maintain security. This approach will help minimize insomnia and allow you to sleep.

  • The two most important decisions in life are choosing a career and a life partner. These decisions can profoundly impact happiness, income, health, and success.

  • Choosing work you enjoy and are passionate about is best. Successful people like Edison, Schwab, and Goodrich enjoyed their work and considered it play, not toil. Loving your work leads to enthusiasm and success.

  • Many young people need to discover the work they genuinely want to do. This can lead to frustration, lack of fulfillment, and even health issues. Finding the right career is essential for well-being and longevity.

  • Young people often need to consider what kind of work they want. They give more thought to superficial decisions than to their life's work.

  • Vocational guidance counselors can provide suggestions and advice to help determine a good career path. However, their advice is reasonable, and one should get input from multiple counselors and use common sense. The final decisions are up to the individual.

  • Choosing work you hate can lead to significant worry, regret, and unhappiness. Mismatched or misplaced workers often become distressed and dissatisfied. Finding a job you enjoy and are well-suited to is essential for well-being and avoiding "industrial misfit" status.

In summary, carefully choosing work you will find meaningful and enjoyable is one of the most critical life decisions, with significant consequences for well-being, happiness, and success. Vocational guidance can help inform decisions, but individuals must make thoughtful choices.

  • Many men suffered psychiatric issues during World War 2 not because of battle casualties but due to feeling misplaced in their roles. According to Dr. William Menninger, factors like lack of interest in the job, feeling lost, under-appreciated or that one's talents were being misused often led to psychiatric issues.

  • The same logic applies to people in civilian jobs. If someone hates their job, they may crack up' or ruin the business. The example of Phil Johnson is given, who hated working in his father's laundry business but thrived once he pursued his interest in engineering.

  • The author advises young people not to feel compelled to enter a family business or any career they do not want. However, they should carefully consider their parents' advice given their life experiences. But the final choice must be one's own to avoid being miserable.

  • Suggestions for choosing a career:

  1. Be wary of 'magic systems' or tests that claim to identify one's aptitude. Seek a vocational counselor who considers one's circumstances and opportunities. Multiple meetings are better. Avoid guidance by mail.

  2. Avoid overcrowded fields where jobs are scarce. Many end up in a few roles when there are thousands of options. This often leads to insecurity and anxiety.

  3. Avoid careers with only a 1 in 10 chance of success, e.g., life insurance sales. The vast majority end up quitting within a year.

  4. Spend weeks researching a career by interviewing those in the role. This can provide critical insights and help determine if the path is right for you. Prepare questions on the pros, cons, likelihood of success, overcrowding, pay, growth opportunities, etc. Don't hesitate to reach out to several people.

  5. Don't assume you only fit one career. Most people can succeed in several fields and fail in many others. The author provides examples of jobs in which he believes he could have succeeded or failed.

In summary, choose a career path carefully based on your interests and circumstances. Do thorough research by speaking to those currently in the role. Stay open to multiple options and be wary of overcrowded fields with scarce jobs. The choice you make can impact your happiness and success for life.

The majority of people's worries are about money. Increasing one's income does not necessarily solve financial concerns for most people. The root cause is usually not insufficient funds but lack of knowledge and planning in handling money.

One should get the facts down on paper to address financial worries by recording income and expenses. A custom budget should then be created to allocate funds to necessary items. Spending money wisely through informed purchasing decisions can help make limited funds go further.

As income increases, avoid disproportionately inflating one's lifestyle and increasing financial commitments. This often leads to more significant worries and debt. Instead, build savings and access to credit in case of emergencies. Banks are a good source for regulated, fair borrowing if one has collateral. Building a good credit history and relationships with reputable lenders is essential for those needing collateral.

Overall, developing a sustainable financial plan, limiting excess spending, and being prepared for unforeseen circumstances are keys to gaining a sense of financial and emotional security. Professional financial advice can be constructive for many in creating a tailored budget and strategy.

The summary provides: An overview of the key points around addressing financial worries by planning one's finances. Spending within one's means. Building an emergency fund. Developing access to fair sources of credit if needed. The assistant focuses on the essential themes and advice from the original lengthy chapter.

• If you don't own any property or have savings, be very careful about taking out loans. Loan companies that advertise generous terms often charge high interest rates and fees. Check with your bank for recommendations on ethical lenders.

• Protect yourself financially by buying insurance against major misfortunes like illness, fire, accidents, etc. Insurance is inexpensive and provides peace of mind.

• Don't have your life insurance paid to your widow in a lump sum. Please set up a trust to provide her with a monthly income instead. Lump sums are often quickly spent, leaving widows destitute.

• Teach your children financial responsibility from an early age. For example, have them use a checkbook to track and manage their allowance.

• If you need extra money, consider starting a small home-based business like selling baking goods. Identify an unmet need in your community and fill it. Home-based businesses can be very successful with low start-up costs.

• Two examples are given of women who started successful home baking businesses. Mrs. Nellie Speer started by selling pies to local diners and grew her business into a bakery that generated $1,000 a year in profit. Mrs. Ora Snyder started with $0.10 to make candy to sell to schoolchildren, growing that into a successful business. Home-based food businesses are suggested for women in towns of at least 10,000 people.

That covers the key points and advice the author wants to convey regarding responsibly managing your money and finances. Let me know if you want me to explain or summarize anything more.

The author, C.I. Blackwood, faced six major troubles that caused him immense worry in the summer of 1943:

  1. His business college was on the verge of financial disaster as most students had joined the war effort.

  2. His son was in military service, causing worry.

  3. The city was appropriating his family land for an airport, forcing them to move and lose their home.

  4. The well on his property had run dry, requiring him to haul water for livestock daily.

  5. He lived far from work but had limited tire access due to war rationing.

  6. His daughter wanted to go to college, but he couldn't afford it.

The worries seemed impossible and beyond his control. However, 18 months later, upon reviewing the written list of concerns, he found that none had come to pass:

  1. The government started paying veterans to attend business school, filling his enrollment.

  2. His son returned from war unharmed.

  3. The airport plan was scrapped after oil was found near his land.

  4. His water issue was resolved (implied).

  5. Tire rationing ended (implied).

  6. His daughter's college situation worked out (implied).

The author learned that his excessive worrying was useless, as unforeseen events resolved each problem unexpectedly. The moral is that worries often come to nothing and life works out.

The critical points of the passage are:

  1. The author suffered from an inferiority complex and constant worries as a teenager due to his tall, thin, and weak physique. He was embarrassed to meet others and stayed isolated in his family farm.

  2. His mother encouraged him to pursue education to overcome his physical inadequacies. To fund his education, he did various jobs like trapping animals and selling pigs.

  3. Four key events helped him gain confidence and overcome his inferiority complex:

i) Getting a teaching certificate after just eight weeks of regular school. This showed someone had faith in him.

ii) Getting a teaching job at $40/month. This further proved people's faith in him.

iii) Buying his first proper fitting suit of clothes. This thrilled him tremendously.

iv) Winning a public speaking contest at a county fair. This was a turning point. It earned him prestige, confidence and a scholarship. It widened his horizons about his abilities.

  1. He went on to get education at De Pauw University while working various jobs to fund it. He participated in debates and became the editor of college publications.

  2. After graduating, he went to Oklahoma which was newly opened to settlers. He eventually became a U.S. Senator from Oklahoma.

  3. In summary, some key factors that helped him overcome his worries and inferiority complex were: his mother's encouragement and faith in him, gaining validation from others through a teaching job and speech contest win, proper education, and persistence in the face of difficulties.

The author, Elmer Thomas, was born into poverty but overcame his difficult circumstances to become a U.S. Senator from Oklahoma. He served in the Oklahoma legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate at age 50, where he served from 1927. Thomas shares his story to inspire poor youth and show that they can overcome worries and feelings of inferiority to achieve their goals.

The second passage is an excerpt from the autobiography of author R.V.C. Bodley. Bodley describes how he came to live with nomadic Arabs in the Sahara desert for seven years after becoming disillusioned with society following his service in World War I. The Arabs taught him fatalism and not to worry excessively about circumstances outside of one's control. Bodley found peace living with the Arabs, though he acknowledges that fatalism may not appeal to everyone. Overall, he learned from the experience to accept the inevitable and then take action.

The third passage provides five methods used by Yale Professor William Lyon Phelps to overcome worry:

  1. Concentrating one's mind intensely on something allowed Phelps to overcome severe eye pain for some time.

  2. Finding an interest outside oneself, such as teaching and helping students.

  3. Cultivating a hobby, which for Phelps was book collecting.

  4. Maintaining a sense of humor and learning to laugh at oneself.

  5. Trusting in God or adopting a philosophical outlook, as Phelps believed that most worries never happen.

The author suffered from lumbago which caused him pain and stiffness. However, when he had to lecture, his pain vanished and he could speak for an hour. This showed him the importance of one's mental attitude and outlook. He learned to enjoy life and live enthusiastically. He loved his work as a teacher.

He found that reading an engaging book could distract him from worries and troubling thoughts. Reading a biography of Thomas Carlyle aided his recovery when he had a nervous breakdown.

When feeling depressed, he forced himself to exercise vigorously which helped dispel his negative feelings.

He learned to avoid rushing and working under tension. He would relax and do nothing at times like Wilbur Cross who would smoke his pipe for an hour.

He tried to gain perspective on his troubles by realizing they would not worry him in the future. So why worry about them now? Adopt the attitude you will have in the future.

In summary, the five ways he overcame worry were:

  1. Live enthusiastically

  2. Read an exciting book

  3. Exercise

  4. Relax

  5. Gain perspective

Dorothy Dix shared how experiencing difficulties like poverty, sickness and hardships taught her not to worry about the future and live each day as it comes. After facing ruined hopes and dreams, little annoyances did not bother her. She acquired a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at troubles. She did not regret the hard times because they allowed her to live genuinely.

J.C. Penney went through a tough time where he could not sleep and developed shingles from extreme worry. He felt hopeless and thought he would not live through the night. However, after attending a chapel service the following day, he had an inexplicable experience where he felt lifted from darkness to light. He realized God was there to help him. From that day on, he was free of worry.

Colonel Eddie Eagan relieves stress through exercise. He will go to the gym to punch a bag or hike. Physical activity releases pent up energy and tensions. It also provides mental relaxation so he can think through problems. Exercise is an excellent remedy for worry and distress.

The author used to be an extreme worrier and hypochondriac who constantly worried himself into believing he had various illnesses and diseases. He grew up working in his father's drug store and was familiar with different medical conditions and their symptoms. He would worry himself into actually experiencing the symptoms of diseases he feared he had. For example, during a diphtheria epidemic, he became convinced he had diphtheria and experienced the symptoms. A doctor confirmed the diagnosis, but the author was perfectly healthy the following day, showing it had all been in his mind. The author says he "died" many times from many diseases due to excessive worrying and hypochondria. He acknowledges he used to be "one of the world's biggest jackasses" because of his foolish worrying and anxiety over his health.

The critical point is that the author was an extreme worrier and hypochondriac who needlessly worried himself into poor health. Still, he eventually overcame this habit and the foolishness of his excessive anxiety. Constant worrying, especially about one's health, is pointless and detrimental.

The author, E. Stanley Jones, spent years doing missionary work in India. The extreme heat and mental strain caused him to suffer from exhaustion and collapse multiple times. After resting in the U.S., he returned to India but struggled with fatigue. Physicians warned him that returning to India could kill him. He slept in the hills of India for months but still struggled when returning to work. He feared he would never regain his health and have to give up his missionary work.

One night, while praying in Lucknow, a voice asked him if he was ready for the work God called him to do. He replied that he was done and had reached the end of his resources. The voice told him not to worry and that God would care for him. Jones agreed, and a great peace came over him. He was revitalized and able to continue his work.

In summary, the extreme conditions of missionary work in India caused E. Stanley Jones suffered exhaustion and collapse. When he feared he would have to give up his calling, a voice from God told him not to worry and brought him peace. God revitalized him, allowing him to continue his missionary work.

Here is a summary of the passages:

  • The first passage describes a transformative religious experience by an author named E. Stanley Jones. He was dealing with severe anxiety, depression, and health issues. He says he experienced a profound sense of peace and transformation during prayer. His health and outlook improved remarkably after that experience. He attributes this to giving his worries and anxieties over to God.

  • The second passage is by the author Homer Croy. He describes losing his home during the Great Depression after making poor investment decisions. At first, he was devastated. But then he accepted what had happened and resolved to start over. He realized worrying would only make things worse. He focused on the things he still had, like his health, friends, and ability to work. His situation gradually improved as he focused on moving forward rather than regretting past mistakes.

  • The third passage is by the boxer Jack Dempsey. He says worry and anxiety were stricter opponents than any fighter he ever faced. To overcome worry, he would give himself positive self-talk during fights to stay confident, remind himself that worry was futile, and pray regularly. Through constant practice, he could brush off worries and focus on what mattered to him - his health and well-being.

  • The common principles across the passages are: 1) Accept what you cannot control and focus on what you can influence. 2) Do not dwell on past regrets or anxieties about the future. Focus on the present. 3) Replace negative and anxious thoughts with more constructive ones through prayer, positive self-talk, and gratitude. 4) Remember that worrying will only make challenging situations worse. Have faith that you can endure difficulties and start again.

Does this summary accurately reflect the passages' key details and main takeaways? Let me know if you wantwant me to clarify or expand on any summary part.

  • The author lived in Missouri as a child and had a sick mother who frequently fainted, leading the author to fear her mother would die and she would end up in an orphanage.

  • 20 years later, the author's brother was severely injured and in intense pain for two years until he died. The author had to give him morphine injections every 3 hours to manage his pain.

  • To cope, the author kept very busy teaching 12-14 hours daily and reminded herself to be grateful for what she had. She was determined to be the happiest person she knew.

  • The key lessons were: stay busy and count your blessings. This helped the author avoid worrying, self-pity, and resentment.

The author suffered from intense worry and anxiety which caused him physical and mental distress. The constant stress and tension resulted in stomach pains, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Upon his doctor's advice, the author started eliminating unnecessary responsibilities and worries.

He realized that most of his worries were about things that were in the past or hadn't happened. He learned to focus on living one day at a time by throwing away old fears and not worrying about potential future problems. The author could stop worrying and experience significant health improvements by keeping himself busy with hobbies and leisure activities.

The key lessons are:

  1. Do not dwell on past problems or future uncertainties, live in the present.

  2. Keep busy and distracted from worries through leisure activities, hobbies, and social interaction. Idleness breeds anxiety and distress.

  3. Take on only responsibilities or worries as you can handle them. Learn to eliminate unnecessary stressors.

  4. Give problems time before worrying about them. Many issues resolve themselves over time without warranting concern.

  5. Have faith that things will work out. Please do not argue with life's difficult circumstances, accept them. Fighting against the inevitable only brings more suffering.

The summary highlights how excessive worrying and stress can have severe physical and mental consequences. By making lifestyle changes focused on living in the present moment, reducing worries, and maintaining a positive mindset, one can overcome anxiety and experience greater well-being and happiness. The key is finding the right balance of responsibility and leisure and learning coping strategies for managing stress and uncertainty.

The author faced death from a heart attack and realized he needed to stop worrying and start living to survive. He committed to rebuilding his strength and focusing on the present instead of fretting over the past or future. This allowed him to recover his health and gain a new appreciation for life.

The second story describes how the author, Ordway Tead, avoids worry by being busy, dismissing problems when switching between tasks, and leaving work at the office. These habits have allowed him to maintain good health and be effective in his career.

The third story is from Connie Mack, a famous baseball manager, who overcame worry through realizing it was futile and wrong for his health. He kept busy, waited before criticizing players, focused on praise instead of faultfinding, got plenty of rest, and stayed active into old age.

The fourth story recommends living in day-tight compartments, focusing on one day at a time instead of the past or future. The author found that most worries resolve themselves in time and that staying focused on today's work leads to success and less anxiety. "One at a time, gentlemen, one at a time."

The final story describes how the author was a chronic worrier until he realized he could not live in the past or future, but needed to focus on today. Seeing a train signal change from amber to green inspired him to start "looking for the green light" - focusing on current opportunities instead of past regrets or future fears. This new mindset freed him from worry and allowed him to live in the present.

In summary, facing mortality, living in the present, keeping busy, not dwelling on past or future, taking things day by day, and focusing on opportunities are keys to overcoming worry according to these stories. Changing mindsets and habits can free us from anxiety and allow us to live more fully.

  • The author was in a train station worried about the uncertainties in life and trying to figure everything out.

  • He observed an engineer start a long 2,300 mile journey based on just one green light. The engineer didn't worry about potential troubles miles ahead and trusted the signalling systems to alert him of any dangers.

  • The author realized he could apply the same principle to his life. He started "praying each morning" to get a "green light" for the day and learned to slow down or stop based on "amber" and "red" lights.

  • Following this approach for two years led to over 700 "green lights" and made life much easier without worrying about the future.

  • John D. Rockefeller built up Standard Oil and became the wealthiest man in the world but at 53 his health was wrecked from "worry, shock, high-pressure and high-tension living". He looked like a "mummy" and "old parchment". He had to live on a very restricted diet.

  • Rockefeller had always been intensely focused on business and making money. He had no time for recreation or enjoyment and was suspicious and mistrusting of others.

  • The public backlash and threats against Rockefeller caused him immense worry and stress, further damaging his health. His doctors told him he had to retire or die.

  • Although still relatively young, Rockefeller looked like the "oldest man" Ida Tarbell had ever seen due to the damage from years of greed, fear, and worry.

Here is a summary of the passage:

  • John D. Rockefeller was a wealthy businessman who founded Standard Oil. At age 53, he was diagnosed with a series of illnesses and given strict orders by his doctors to avoid worry, relax, exercise, and watch his diet. He followed this advice, and it likely saved his life.

  • Rockefeller began to reflect on how he could use his wealth to help others. He started donating millions of dollars to various causes like education, public health, and medical research. His donations had an enormous impact, helping to fund discoveries like penicillin and stamp out diseases.

  • In 1911, Standard Oil was broken up after being declared an illegal monopoly. Lawyers feared Rockefeller would be upset, but he responded that he intended to get a good night's sleep. He had learned not to worry excessively.

  • The author shares a personal story of how reading a book on sexual intimacy saved his marriage. He and his wife were unhappy for years before reading the book and learning how to improve their relationship. The author argues that many marriages fail due to a lack of education about sex and intimacy.

  • Another anecdote is shared about a man named Paul Sampson who was "committing slow suicide" by living a life of constant stress, hurry, and anxiety. After a heart attack scare, he learned techniques to relax, slow down, and appreciate life more. His health and outlook improved dramatically as a result.

The main themes of the passage are:

  • Avoiding excessive worry and anxiety can enormously benefit well-being and longevity.

  • Educating yourself in essential life areas like relationships and intimacy can help prevent personal crises.

  • Making a conscious effort to slow down, relax, and appreciate life can significantly reduce stress and improve health.

The author used to live a fast-paced, tense life where she was constantly worrying and hurrying. She was suffering from nervous fatigue and insomnia. She went to see a specialist who told her to practice relaxation. He said she was slowly killing herself by not knowing how to relax.

Following his advice, the author relaxed consciously when eating, driving, and sleeping. She can now relax at work and stay calm when the phone rings. Her life has become much more pleasant. She's free of nervous worry and fatigue.

The author then shares a story of when worry ultimately defeated her. Her nerves were shot, and she couldn't sleep. Her children were separated, living with relatives. Her husband was trying to establish a law practice in another city. She felt like a failure and couldn't face her responsibilities.

Her mother shocked her into fighting back. She challenged the author to stop resisting fear and start facing life. The author started caring for her children again, sleeping, eating better, and improving her mood. She learned that facing problems head-on instead of avoiding them is the key.

The author shares a story from a Hungarian playwright whose father told him that work is the best cure for sorrow or setbacks. The playwright has lived by that advice for 50 years.

Finally, the author shares her suffering from severe worry that she didn't eat for 18 days. She was almost driven insane. Reading this book and learning techniques to stop worrying saved her. She's now able to sleep, eat, and enjoy life. She recommends studying and applying the lessons from the book to find a new way of living without constant anxiety and worry.


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