How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie (book notes)

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#237 How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie (this book has helped me with my anxiety)

237 How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie (this book has helped me with my anxiety). Grab the book notes at  

#237 How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

I love old books. Books like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, As Man Thinketh by James Allen, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and many others.

Well ole Carnegie he wrote another old book that I really like called How to Stop Worrying and Start Living back in 1944.

What I love about the old books, old quotes, and old writings is the fact that at the core… we’re still the same human animals we were thousands and thousands of years ago.

Well an age old concern that was addressed back in 1944 that we still suffer from today is worrying.

We spend countless amounts of time in our life worrying about things that haven’t happened yet.

Like my friend Mark Twain said, “I’m an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

In this now classic book Dale Carnegie provides us with time tested methods for conquering worry.

Dale says, ““No one living has enough emotion and vigor to fight the inevitable and, at the same time, enough left over to create a new life. Choose one or the other. You can either bend with the inevitable sleetstorms of life—or you can resist them and break!”

He goes on to say,

“Obviously, circumstances alone do not make us happy or unhappy. It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our feelings. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is within you. That is where the kingdom of hell is, too.”

It’s so true isn’t it… that circumstances do not make us happy or unhappy. And when it comes to real estate, the reason that no two deals are the same is because of the people involved in the deals.

How many times have you had an inspection that one client shrugged their shoulders like, “no big deal?” and another, got the gasoline out in order to burn the house down?

I deal with this with my own agents all the time. They call me with an end of the world scenario, their emotions are at a fever pitch… and the first thing I do every single time is to wrap a warm blanket around their emotions.

A common question I ask after listening to the entire story is, “So what’s the worst case scenario?” And often the worst case scenario is the buyer backs out of the sale or the seller refuses to make requested repairs… and then I have them repeat back the worst case scenario after we’ve talked it through.

Okay, so the worst case scenario is that the buyer doesn’t buy the house. Then what? And my agent will usually come to their own way less end of the world solution.

Now, if it sounds to me like the deal is not actually in jeopardy but we have all parties running high with emotion… and when I say all parties… I mean the buyer, seller, buyer’s agent, and seller’s agent… I simply ask, “So the buyer still wants to sell right?” 

“Umm, yes” the agent replies.

“And the seller still wants to sell?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Great, then let’s talk through how we can all come to an agreement.”

And when you slow down enough to reframe the scenario without creating more resistance with your own emotions, as the agent, then the solutions seem to flow like a river.

Way too often the buyer’s and seller’s agents become an obstacle to the sale – by involving their own egos and opinions. I’ve saved countless of my own transactions and the transactions of one of my team members by simply being a voice of reason.

The same must apply to you and me when we get lost in our own worry and emotions. We must learn to slow down and become our own voice of reason.

Dale believes that,

“Seventy per cent of all patients who come to physicians could cure themselves if they got rid of their fears and worries.”

Carnegie quotes a Dr. Montague: “You do not not get stomach ulcers from what you eat. You get ulcers from what is eating you.”

And a Dr. Alexis Carrel: “Those who do not know how to fight worry die young.”

And the philosopher Plato: “The greatest mistake physicians make is that they attempt to cure the body without attempting to cure the mind; yet the mind and the body are one and should not be treated separately!”

Dale said,

“I spent twelve years working with cattle; yet I never saw a Jersey cow running a temperature because the pasture was burning from lack of rain or because of sleet and cold or because her boyfriend was paying too much attention to another heffer. The animals confront night, storms, and hunger calmly; so they never have nervous breakdowns or stomach ulcers; and they never go insane.”

He has many quotes in the book, and I love quotes. So here’s a few more from some famous people you probably know.

Jesus said, “Have no anxiety for tomorrow.”

Think about what a concise yet incredibly profound statement that is… have no anxiety for tomorrow. 

For someone like me, who suffers from anxiety from time to time… I should probably make this a motto or a mantra that I repeat to myself several times a day.

I remember back in 2008 and 2009 when my perception was – that the world was coming to an end. Which world? Well, the only world that matters… to me… my world.

The real estate crash had finally wreaked enough havoc to drag down the world’s economy. I had debt on everything. Everything except my Corvette… hahahaha… of all things to have paid off… a completely useless extra car.

Anyway, the actual real estate market and the actual economy were both burning to the ground around me… but it was my mind, my fear, and my worry that were wreaking the most havoc on me.

I worried that I wouldn’t be able to make my house payment.

I worried that I wouldn’t be able to make my condo payment at our vacation home in Bonita Springs Florida.

I worried that I wouldn’t be able to make my BMW payment.

I worried that I wouldn’t be able to make my credit card payments on my $38,000 balance.

I worried that we wouldn’t be able to make the payment on our Dairy Queen.

I worried and I worried and I worried.

I even schemed up a worst case scenario plan. A plan that I called the White Bronco. If you smiled a little because you get it, you get why I called it the White Bronco… you’re pretty awesome.

The plan involved stopping payment on my house, my condo, and all of our rental properties, still collecting rent, still collecting the sales from the Dairy Queen… but not paying any of the payments for as long as possible in order to save up a pile of cash… I was then going to pack up the entire family and White Bronco it down to Florida to live in the condo while strategically making a little payment here and a tiny payment there in order to stave off foreclosure.

The worry was killing me. I was gobbling down Tums like I do peanut M&M’s.

And guess what happened?


Nothing happened. We didn’t miss a payment. We didn’t miss a payment on one single thing. The world didn’t end. And thankfully I didn’t have to execute the White Bronco. A plan that I didn’t even tell Sparkle about until years after.

Anyway, let’s get back to more quotes from the book:

Montaigne said: “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.”

Dante says: “Think that this day will never dawn again.”

Carlyle quipped: “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”

Horace tells us: “Happy the man, and happy he alone, | He, who can call to-day his own: | He who, secure within can say: | “To-morrow, do thy worst, for I have liv’d today.”

The Big Idea, as Carnegie says is to: “Shut the iron doors on the past and the future. Live in Day-tight compartments.”

And ask yourself these questions:

  1. “Do I tend to put off living in the present in order to worry about the future, or to yearn for some ‘magical rose garden over the horizon’?
  2. Do I sometimes embitter the present by regretting things that happened in the past—that are over and done with?
  3. Do I get up in the morning determined to ‘Seize the day’—to get the utmost out of these twenty-four hours?
  4. Can I get more out of life by ‘living in day-tight compartments’?
  5. When shall I start to do this? Next week? … Tomorrow? … Today?”

Great questions aren’t they. All of which apply to both our personal and our business lives.

I don’t know how many times an agent has said they’ll do something, like calling their sphere, after their new business cards arrive, or once their website is up and running.

I do this to myself, still to this day. I’ll place some obstacle directly in the path of current happiness or enjoyment… something tied to an outcome that should have absolutely nothing to do with enjoying life in the moment.

We should heed the words of Professor William James, the father of applied psychology, who said, “Be willing to have it so… because acceptance of what has happened is the first step in overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”

This reminds me of what Byron Katie told me in her amazing book, Loving What Is, 

She says: “I realized that it’s insane to oppose it. When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time.” Haha. I love that. And: “If you want reality to be different than what it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark.”  

You want to stop worrying and start living, then stop arguing with reality.

As Deepak Chopra says in his great book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: “This means that your acceptance of this moment is total and complete. You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in this moment. This is important to understand. You can wish for things in the future to be different, but in this moment you have to accept things as they are.”

I’ll end there for today. You and me we’re a lot alike. I wish you would just admit it hahahaha!!!

We both worry about things that have never happened. We project forward with fear. We both have to work on this. In order for us to be the best versions of ourselves, to reach our personal greatness, to drive a stake through the deathbed dilemma… one of the obstacles that must be navigated is worry.

We must stop worrying and start living.

If you want the book notes for this amazing book, hop on over to and grab them, study them, and most importantly… implement them. 

Have a great day my friend.