Dale Carnegie: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Book Summary




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Chapter 1 – Live in “Day-tight Compartments”

  • I wasn’t interested in making a lot of money, but I was interested in making a lot of living.
  • Science, said he French philosopher Valery, “is a collection of successful recipes”
  • We have all read the golden rule and the Sermon on the Mount, our trouble is not ignorance, but inaction.
  • Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
  • Shut off the past! Let the dead past bury its dead….Shut out off the past! Let the dead past bury its dead….Shut out the yesterday which have lighted fools the way to dusty death….The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter. Shut off the future as tightly as the past….The future is today….There is no tomorrow. The day of man’s salvation is now….There is no tomorrow. The day of man’s salvation is now. Waster of energy, mental distress, nervous worries dog the steps of a man who is anxious about the future…Shut close, then, the great fore and aft bulkheads, and prepare to cultivate the habit of life of ‘day-tight compartments.’
  • The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.
  • Take no thought for the morrow. (Jesus)
  • Good thinking deals with causes and effects and leads to logic, constructive planning; bad thinking frequently leads to tension and nervous breakdowns.
  • Have no anxiety about the morrow. (Jesus)
  • Live in day-tight compartments. (Sir William Osler)
  • Every day is a new life to wise man.
  • Each morning I said to myself: “Today is a new life.”
  • Heraclitus told his students that “everything changes except the law changes.”
  • Life is a ceaseless change. The only certainty is today.
  • Carpe diem. “Enjoy the day” or “Seize the day”. Yes seize the day, and make the most of it.
  • This is the day which the lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
  • John Ruskin had on his desk a simple piece of stone on which was carved one word: TODAY.
  • Shut the iron doors on the past and the future. Live in Day-tight Compartments.

Chapter 2 – A Magic Formula For Solving Worry Situations

  • Step 1. I analysed the situation fearlessly and honestly and figured out what the worst that could possibly happen as a result of this failure.
  • Step 2. After figuring out what was the worst that could possibly happen, I reconciled myself to accepting it, if necessary.
  • Step 3. From that time on, I calmly devoted my time and energy to trying to improve upon the worst which I had already accepted mentally.
  • One of the worst features about worrying is that it destroys our ability to concentrate, When we worry, our minds jump here and there and everywhere, and we lose all power of decision.
  • Be willing to have it so, because acceptance of what has happened is the first step in overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. (William James)

Chapter 3 – What Worry May Do To You

  • Business men who do not know how to fight worry die young. (Dr Alexis Carrel)
  • What shall it profit a man if he gains the world-and loses his health.
  • Plato said that “the greatest mistake physicians make is that they attempt to cure the body without attempting to cure the mind; yet the mind and body are one and should not be treated separately.
  • The lord may forgive us our sins said William James, but the nervous system never does.
  • Those who keep the peace of their inner selves in the midst of the tumult of the modern city are immune from nervous diseases. (Dr Alexis Carrel)
  • Thoreau said in his immortal book, Walden: “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour….If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
  • Face the facts: Quit worrying; then do something about it!
  • If you want to avoid worry, do what Sir William Osler did: Live in “day-tight compartments.” Don’t stew about the future. Just live each day until bedtime.

Chapter 4 – How To Analyse And Solve Worry Problems

  • I keep six honest serving-men, they taught me all I knew: Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who. (Rudyard Kipling)
  • Three basic steps of problem analysis. The three steps are: Get the facts, Analyse the facts and Arrive at a decision-and then act on that decision.
  • Confusion is the chief cause of worry.
  • Half the worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions before they have sufficient knowledge on which to base a decision.
  • If a man will devote his time to securing facts in an impartial, objective way, his worries will usually evaporate in the light of knowledge.
  • Thomas Edison said in all seriousness: “There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the labour of thinking.”
  • Charles Kettering puts it: “A problem well stated is a problem half solved.”
  • What am I worrying about? What can I do about it?
  • Experience has proved to me, time after time, the enormous value of arriving at decision. It is the failure to arrive at a fixed purpose, the inability to stop going round and round in maddening circles, that drives men to nervous breakdown and living hells. I find that 50 per cent of my worries vanish once I arrive at a clear, definite decision; and another 40 per cent usually vanishes once I start to carry out that decision. So I banish about 90 per cent of my worries by taking these four steps: 1. Writing down precisely what I am worrying about. 2. Writing down what I can do about it. 3. Deciding what to do. 4. Starting immediately to carry out that decision.
  • Do something about it. Unless we carry out our action, all our fact-finding and analysis is whistling upwind-it’s a sheer waste of energy.
  • Once you have made a careful decision based on facts, go into action. Don’t stop to reconsider. Don’t lose yourself in self-doubting which begets other doubts. Don’t keep looking back over your shoulder.
  • There comes a time when we must decide and act and never look back.

Chapter 5 – How to Eliminate Fifty Percent of Tour Business Worries

  • Question 1: What is the problem?
  • Question 2: What is the cause of the problem?
  • Question 3: What are all possible solutions of the problem?
  • Question 4: What solution do you suggest?
  • Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.
  • Too absorbed in his work to worry.

Chapter 6 – How to Crowd Worry Out of Tour Mind

  • Research men rarely have nervous breakdowns. They haven’t time for such luxuries.
  • It is utterly impossible for any human mind, no matter how brilliant, to think of more than one thing at any given time.
  • Occupational therapy is the term now used by psychiatry when work is prescribed as though it were a medicine.
  • The remedy for worry is to get completely occupied doing something constructive.
  • Without purpose, the day would have ended, as such days always end, in disintegration.
  • Keep busy. The worried person must lose himself in action, lest he wither in despair.

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

  • Disraeli said: “Life is too short to be little”
  • Let’s not allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. Remember “Life is too short to be little”

Chapter 8 – A Law That Will Outlaw Many of Tour Worries

  • Ninety nine percent of the things I worried about never happened.
  • Let’s examine the record. Let’s ask ourselves: What are the chances, according to the law of averages, that this event I am worrying about will ever occur.

Chapter 9 – Co-Operate With the Inevitable

  • Circumstances alone do not make us happy or unhappy. It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our feelings.
  • Henry Ford told me much the same thing. “When I can’t handle events”, he said, “I let them handle themselves.”
  • Epictetus taught in Rome nineteen centuries ago. “There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
  • If it has to be, it has to be.
  • When we stop fighting the inevitable, we release energy which enables us to create a richer life. (Elsie MacCormick in a Readers Digest Article)
  • The masters of jujitsu teach their pupils to bend like the willow; don’t resist like the oak.
  • You and I will last longer, and enjoy smoother riding, if we learn to absorb the shocks and jolts along the rocky road of life.
  • Every time I am tempted now to worry about something I can’t possibly change, I shrug my shoulders and say: Forget it.
  • Try to bear lightly what needs must be. (Socrates)
  • God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. (Dr Reinhold Niebuhr)
  • Co-operate with the inevitable.




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

  • Began to place a stop-loss order on any and every kind of annoyance and resentment that came to me.
  • The lessons it taught Franklin was cheap in the end. “As I grew up,” he said, “and came into the world and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle. In short, I conceive that a great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.
  • How much does this thing I am worrying about really matter to me?
  • At what point shall I set a “stop-loss” order on this worry-and forget it?
  • Exactly how much shall I pay for this whistle? Have I already paid more than it is worth?
  • Calmly analysing our past mistakes and profiting by them-and forgetting them.
  • Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.
  • Of course, you can’t saw sawdust! Mr. Shedd exclaimed. “It’s already sawed! And it’s the same with the past. When you start worrying about things that are over and down with, you’re merely trying to saw sawdust.”
  • People’s ability to write off their worries and tragedies and go on living fairly happy lives.
  • Crown worry out of your mind by keeping busy. Plenty of action is one of the best therapies ever devised.
  • Don’t permit little things-the mere termites of life-to ruin your happiness.
  • Use the law of average to outlaw your worries. Ask yourself: “What are the odds against this thing’s happening at all?
  • Put a “stop-loss” order on your worries. Decide just how much anxiety a thing may be worth-and refuse to give it any more.

Chapter 11 – Don’t Try To Saw Sawdust

  • Our mental attitude is the X factor that determines our fate. Emerson said: “A man is what he thinks about all day long”…How could he possibly be anything else?
  • The biggest problem you and I have to deal with-in fact, almost the only problem we have to deal with-is choosing the right thoughts.

Chapter 12 – Eight Words That Can Transform Your Life

  • Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius, summed it up in eight words-eight words that can determine your destiny: “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”
  • Norman Vincent Peale, “you are not what you think you are; but what you think, you are.”
  • Be concerned about our problems, but not worried.
  • When their minds were filled with positive thoughts of strength, they increased their actual physical powers almost five hundred per cent.
  • Such is the incredible power of our mental attitude.
  • All causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon.
  • Our peace of mind and the joy we get out of living depends not on where we are, or what we have, or who we are, but solely upon our mental attitude.
  • Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. (Helen Keller)
  • Epictetus, the greatest Stoic philosopher, warned that we ought to be more concerned about removing “tumours and abscesses from the body.”
  • A man is not hurt so much by what happens, as by his opinion of what happens. And our opinion of what happens is entirely up to us. (Montaigne)
  • William James, who has never been topped in his knowledge of practical psychology, once made this observation: “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under our direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.

Just For Today

  • Just for today I will be happy. This assumed that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. Happiness is from within; it is not a matter of externals.
  • Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.
  • Just for today I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse it nor neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my bidding.
  • Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
  • Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests, just for exercise.
  • Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticise not at all, nor find fault with anything and not try to regulate nor improve anyone.
  • Just for today I will try to love through this day only, not to tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do things for twelve hours that would appal me if I had to keep them up for a lifetime.
  • Just for today I will have a programme. I will write down what I expect to do every hour. I may follow it exactly, but I will have it. It will eliminate two pests, hurry and indecision.
  • Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax, In this half-hour sometimes I will think of the universe, so as to get a little more perspective into my life.
  • Just for today I will be unafraid, especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.
  • If we want to develop a mental attitude that will bring us peace and happiness. Think and act cheerfully, and you will feel cheerful.

Chapter 13 – The High Cost Of Getting Even

  • Even if we can’t love our enemies, let’s at least love ourselves.
  • Let’s never waste a minute thinking about people we don’t like.

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

  • It is natural for people to forget to be grateful; so, if we go around expecting gratitude, we are headed straight for a lot of heartaches.
  • If we want to find happiness, let’s stop thinking about gratitude or ingratitude and give for the inner joy of giving.
  • To avoid resentment and worry over ingratitude, here is Rule 3. A. Instead of worrying about ingratitude, let’s expect it. Let’s remember that Jesus healed ten lepers in one day-and only one thanked Him. Why should we expect more gratitude than Jesus got? B. Let’s remember that the only way to find happiness is not to expect gratitude, but to give for the joy of giving. C. Let’s remember that gratitude is a “cultivated” trait; so if we want our children to be grateful, we must train them to be grateful.

Chapter 15 – Would You Take A Million Dollars For What You Have?

  • The biggest lesson I learned from that experience was that if you have all the fresh water you want to drink and all the food you want to eat, you ought never to complain about anything. (Eddie Rickenbacker)
  • About ninety per cent of the things in our lives are right and about ten per cent are wrong. If we want to be happy all we have to do is concentrate on the ninety per cent that are right and ignore the ten per cent that are wrong.
  • As Schopenhauer said: “We seldom think of what we have but always of what we lack.”
  • There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. (Logan Pearsall Smith)
  • Count your blessings- not your troubles.

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

  • Be the best of whatever you are.
  • Let’s not imitate others. Let’s find ourselves and be ourselves.

Chapter 17 – If You Have A Lemon, Make A Lemonade

  • When you have a lemon, make lemonade.
  • Turn a minus into a plus. (Alfred Adler)
  • Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw the mud and the other saw the stars.
  • The best things are the most difficult. (Thelma Thompson)
  • Happiness is not mostly pleasure; it is mostly victory. (Harry Emerson Fosdick)
  • The most important thing in life is not to capitalize on your gains. Any fool can do that. The really important thing is to profit from your losses. That requires intelligence; and it makes the different between a man of sense and a fool.

Chapter 18 – How to Cure Melancholy in Fourteen Days

  • Forget yourself by becoming interested in others. Do every day a good deed that will put a smile of joy on someone’s face.
  • Try to think every day how you can please someone.

Chapter 19 – How My Mother And Father Conquered Worry

  • Faith is one of the forces by which men live and the total absence of it means collapse. (William James)
  • Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning, that we are pardoned and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. (St. Francis)

Chapter 20 – Remember That No One Every Kicks A Dead Dog

  • Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment. Remember that no one ever kicks a dead dog.
  • Unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment. It often means that you have aroused jealousy and envy.

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

  • Never be bothered by what people say, as long as you know in your heart you are right. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
  • Do the very best you can: and then put up your old umbrella and keep the rain of criticism from running down the back of your neck.

Chapter 22 – Fool Thing I Have Done

  • Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day. Wisdom consists in not exceeding that limit. (Elbert Hubbard)
  • Let’s keep a record of the food things we have done and criticise ourselves. Since we can’t hope to be perfect, let’s do what E.H. Little did: let’s ask for unbiased, helpful, constructive criticism.

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

  • Rest often. Rest before you get tired.
  • Rest is not a matter of doing absolutely nothing. Rest is repair. (Daniel W Josselyn)
  • Do what the Army does-take frequent rests. Do what your heart does-rest before you get tired, and you will add one hour a day to your waking life.

Chapter 24 – What Makes You Tired and What You Can Do About It

  • Mental work alone can’t make you tired.
  • Psychiatrists declare that most of our fatigue derives from our mental and emotional attitudes.
  • We get tired because our emotions produce nervous tensions in the body.
  • Worry, tenseness, and emotional upsets are three of the biggest causes of fatigue.
  • Relax Relax learn to relax while you are doing your work.
  • Tension is a habit. Relaxing is a habit. And habits can be broken, good habits formed. (James Allen)
  • Relaxation is the absence of all tensions and effort.

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

  • Keep a notebook or scrapbook for inspirational reading.
  • Don’t dwell too long on the shortcoming of others.
  • Get interested in your neighbours.
  • Make up a schedule for tomorrow’s work before you go to bed tonight.
  • Finally- avoid tension and fatigue.
  • If you’re going to get the worry-kinks out of people, they’ve got to relax.
  • Lie flat on the floor whenever you feel tired. Stretch as tall as you can. Roll around if you want to. Do it twice a day.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Quiet your nerves with slow, steady breathing. Breathe from deep down.
  • Think of the wrinkles and frowns in your face, and smooth them all out.

Chapter 26 – Four Good Working Habits That Will Hep Prevent Fatigue and Worry

  • Good working habit 1: Clear your desk of all papers except those relating to the immediate problem at hand.
  • Good working habit 2: Do things in the order of their importance.
  • Those two priceless abilities are: first, the ability to think. Second, the ability to do things in the order of their importance.
  • Good working habit 3: When you gave a problem, solve it then and there if you have the facts necessary to make a decision. Don’t keep putting off decisions.
  • Good working habit 4: Learn of organize, deputise, and supervise.

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

  • It is a well-known fact that your emotional attitude usually has far more to do with producing fatigue than has physical exertion.
  • William James counselled us to act “as if” we were brave, and we would be brave; and to act “as if” we were happy, and we would be happy; and so on.
  • Fake it to you make it, acted till it’s real.
  • Give yourself a pep talk every day.





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Chapter 28 – How to Keep from Worrying About Insomnia

  • Our life is what our thoughts make it. (Marcus Aurelius)
  • By talking to yourself every hour of the day, you can direct yourself to think thoughts of courage and happiness, thoughts of power and peace. By talking to yourself about the things you have to be grateful for, you can fill your mind with thoughts that soar and sing.
  • Keep reminding yourself that getting interested in your job will take your mind off your worries, and, in the long run, will probably bring promotion and increased pay.
  • So, to keep from worrying about insomnia, here are five rules: Read until you do feel sleepy. Worrying about insomnia usually causes far more damage than sleeplessness. Relax your body.
  • Get yourself so physically tired you can’t stay awake.
  • Rest before you get tired.
  • Learn to relax at your work.
  • Protect your health and appearance by relaxing at home.
  • To prevent worry and fatigue, put enthusiasm into your work.

Chapter 29 – The Major Decision of Tour Life

  • A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm. (Charles Schwab)
  • It is perfectly appalling to realise that a man will give more thought to buying a suit of clothes that will wear out in a few years than he will give to choosing the career on which his whole future depends-on which his whole future happiness and peace of mind are based.
  • Good writing is the kind that transfers your thoughts and emotions to the reader-and to do that, you don’t need a large vocabulary, but you do need ideas, experience, convictions, examples and excitement.

Chapter 30 – “Seventy Per Cent of all our Worries are about Money

  • Income accomplished nothing but an increased in spending- and an increase in headaches. What causes most people to worry, they don’t know how to spend the money they have.
  • We have to have a plan for spending our money and spend according to that plan.
  • Where your money is concerned, you’re in business for yourself and it is literally your business what you do with your money.
  • To lessen financial worries, let’s try to follow these eleven rules:
  • Get the facts down on paper.
  • Get a tailor-made budget that really fits your needs
  • Learn how to spend wisely.
  • Don’t increase your headaches with your income.
  • Try to build credit, in the event you must borrow.
  • Protect yourself against illness, fire, and emergency expenses.
  • Do not have your life-insurance proceeds paid to your widow in cash.
  • Teach your children a responsible attitude towards money.
  • If necessary, make a little extra money off your kitchen stove.
  • Don’t gamble-ever.
  • If we can’t possibly improve our financial situation, let’s be good to ourselves and stop resenting what can’t be changed.

Chapter 31 – Stories on How People Conquered Worry

  • We could eat only 3 meals a day and sleep in only one bed at a time.
  • Remember, today is the tomorrow you worries about yesterday. Ask yourself: How do I know this thing I am worrying about will really come to pass.
  • I realise that the world has always been in the throes of agony that civilisation has always been tottering on the brink.
  • Realise that as conditions are now, they are infinitely better than they use to be. This enables me to see and face my present troubles in their proper perspective as well as to realise that the world as a whole is constantly growing better.
  • Read history. Try to get the viewpoint of ten thousand years-and see how trivial your troubles are, in terms of eternity.
  • Accept the inevitable and they get busy and pick up the pieces.
  • God will take care of you.
  • Worry goes when exercise begins.
  • Rule 1. Find out precisely what is the problem you are worrying about. Rule 2. Find out the cause of the problem. Rule 3. Do something constructive at once about solving the problem.
  • He that sent me is with me-the Father hath not left me alone.
  • And Erickson invariably answers: “No, nothing could be that bad!”
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Try “just laughing” at some of your sillier worries, and see if you can’t laugh them out of existence.
  • What’s the principle here? Don’t try to saw sawdust. Accept the inevitable! If you can’t go lower, you can try going up.
  • Applied two principles described in this book: she kept too busy to worry, and she counted her blessing. The same technique may be helpful to you.
  • Laugh at yourself.
  • The cure was in a change in my mental attitude.
  • Why don’t crumple up your worries about yesterday’s problems and toss them into the wastebasket?
  • The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter…Why even try.
  • Remember what George Bernard Shaw said? “The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not” Keep active, keep busy.
  • Time solves a lot of things. Time may also solve what you are worrying about today.
  • Face the worst that can happen.
  • Avoid worry. Never worry about anything, under any kind of circumstances.
  • Relax, and take plenty of mild exercise in the open air.
  • Watch your diet. Always stop eating while you are still a little hungry.
  • Sex is admittedly the most important subject in life. It is admittedly the thing which causes the most shipwrecks in the happiness of men and women. (Dr John B Watson)
  • First, I ask myself what is the worst that can possibly happen. Second, I try to accept it mentally. Third, I concentrate on the problem and see how I can improve the worst which I am already willing to accept-if I have to.
  • God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.





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2 comments on Dale Carnegie: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Book Summary

  1. glasgow says:

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    1. Thanks Julian, I have some book summaries like DotCom Secrets that have 60 pictures, some books dont contain images so I can’t add pictures, but I know what you mean. The nature of a book is boring because of words, it’s hard to spice things up some times ;p)

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