How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie Part 2

These are some of the passages that resonated the most with me from Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

“When I awoke, I didn’t know where I was. I was terrified. I saw in front of me two small children who had apparently come in to see the Christmas tree. One, a little girl, was pointing at me and saying: ‘I wonder if  Santa Clause brought her’. These children were also frightened when I awoke. I told them that I wouldn’t hurt them. They were poorly dressed. I asked them where their mother and daddy were. ‘We ain’t got no mother and daddy,’ they said. Here were two little orphans much worse off than I had ever been. They made me feel ashamed of my sorrow and self-pity. I showed them the Christmas tree and then took them to a drugstore and we had some refreshments, and I bought them some candy and a few presents. My loneliness vanished as if by magic. These two orphans gave me the only real happiness and self-forgetfulness that I had had in months.” 

“A third of the people who rush to psychiatrists for help could probably cure themselves if they would only do as  Margaret Yates did: get interested in helping others.” 

“What about the grocery boy, the newspaper vendor, the chap at the corner who polishes your shoes? These people are human -bursting with troubles, and dreams, and private ambitions. They are also bursting for the chance to share them with someone. But do you ever let them? Do you ever show an eager, honest interest in them or their lives? That’s the sort of thing I mean. You don’t have to become a Florence Nightingale or a social reformer to help improve the world-your own private world; you can start tomorrow morning with the people you meet!” 

“When the steward finally got around to handing me the menu, I said: ‘the boys back there cooking in that hot  kitchen certainly must be suffering today.’ The steward began to curse. His tones were bitter. At first, I thought he was angry. ‘Good God Almighty,’ he exclaimed, ‘the people come in here and complain about the food. They kick about the slow service and growl about the heat and the prices. I have listened to their criticisms for nineteen years and you are the first person and the only person that has ever expressed any sympathy for the cooks back there in the boiling kitchen. I wish to God we had more passengers like you.’ 

“I didn’t ask these questions because I was especially interested in the answers. I did it solely to keep my partner from looking at my poor clothes. But a strange thing happened: as I listened to these young men talk and learned more about them, I really became interested in listening to what they had to say. I became so interested that I myself sometimes forgot about my clothes. But the astounding thing to me was this: since I was a good listener  and encouraged the boys to talk about themselves, I gave them happiness and I gradually became the most  popular girl in our social group and three of these men proposed marriage to me.” (There you are, girls: that is  the way it is done.)” 

“Forget yourself by becoming interested in others. Do every day a good deed that will put a smile of joy on someone’s face.” 

“So when you are kicked and criticized, remember that it is often done because it gives the kicker a feeling of importance. It often means that you are accomplishing something and are worthy of attention. Many people get a  sense of savage satisfaction out of denouncing those who are better educated than they are or more successful.” 

“Vulgar people take huge delight in the faults and follies of great men.” 

“Teddy Roosevelt’s sister looked her in the eye and said: “Never be bothered by what people say, as long as you  know in your heart you are right.” 

“The small man flies into a rage over the slightest criticism, but the wise man is eager to learn from those who have censured him and reproved him and “disputed the passage with him”.Walt Whitman put it this way: “Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have  you not learned great lessons from those who rejected you, and braced themselves against you, or disputed the  passage with you?” 

“We are not creatures of logic. We are creatures of emotions. Our logic is like a canoe tossed about on a deep,  dark, stormy sea of emotion. Most of us have a pretty good opinion of ourselves as we are now. But in forty years from now, we may look back and laugh at the persons we are today.” 

“Let’s keep a record of the fool things we have done and criticize 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.”

“Relax in odd moments. Let your body go limp like an old sock. I keep an old, maroon- colored sock on my desk as I work-keep it there as a reminder of how limp I ought to be. If you haven’t got a sock, a cat will do. Did you ever pick up a kitten sleeping in the sunshine? If so, both ends sagged like a wet newspaper. Even the yogis in India say that if you want to master the art of relaxation, study the cat. I never saw a tired cat, a cat with a  nervous breakdown, or a cat suffering from insomnia, worry, or stomach ulcers. You will probably avoid these disasters if you learn to relax as the cat does.” 

“He opened his class-to a chorus of doubts from the medical doubters on the sidelines. And the class worked wonders! In the eighteen years that have passed since it started, thousands of patients have been “cured” by attending it. Some of the patients have been coming for years-as religious in their attendance as though going to church. My assistant talked to a woman who had hardly missed a session in more than nine years. She said that when she first went to the clinic, she was thoroughly convinced she had a floating kidney and some kind of heart ailment. She was so worried and tense that she occasionally lost her eyesight and had spells of blindness. Yet today she is confident and cheerful and in excellent health. She looked only about forty, yet she held one of her grandchildren asleep in her lap. “I used to worry so much about my family troubles,” she said, “that I wished I  could die. But I learned at this clinic the futility of worrying. I learned to stop it. And I can honestly say now that  my life is serene.” 

“Psycho-analysis is based, to some extent, on this healing power of words. Ever since the days of Freud, analysts have known that a patient could find relief from his inner anxieties if he could talk, just talk. Why is this so?  Maybe because by talking, we gain a little better insight into our troubles, get a better perspective. No one knows the whole answer. But all of us know that “spitting it out” or “getting it off our chests” bring almost instant relief.” 

“Then say to that person: “I want your advice. I have a problem, and I wish you would listen while I put it in words. You may be able to advise me. You may see angles to this thing that I can’t see myself. But even if you  can’t, you will help me tremendously if you will just sit and listen while I talk it out.” However, if you honestly  feel that there is no one you can talk to, then let me tell you 

“But before I go, do you mind if I take a look in your desk?” Dr. Sadler opened up the drawers of his desk. All empty- except for supplies. “Tell me,” said the patient, “where do you keep your unfinished business?”  “Finished!” said Sadler. “And where do you keep your unanswered mail?” “Answered!” Sadler told him. “My rule is never to lay down a letter until I have answered it. I dictate the reply to my secretary at once.”

“Six weeks later, this same executive invited Dr. Sadler to come to his office. He was changed-and so was his  desk. He opened the desk drawers to show there was no unfinished business inside of the desk. “Six weeks ago,”  this executive said, “I had three different desks in two different offices-and was snowed under by my work. I  was never finished. After talking to you, I came back here and cleared out a wagon-load of reports and old papers. Now I work at one desk, settle things as they come up, and don’t have a mountain of unfinished business nagging at me and making me tense and worried. But the most astonishing thing is I’ve recovered completely.  There is nothing wrong any more with my health!” 

“Good Working Habit No. 2: Do Things in the Order of Their Importance.” 

“Henry L. Dougherty, founder of the nation-wide Cities Service Company, said that regardless of how much salary he paid, there were two abilities he found it almost impossible to find. Those two priceless abilities are:  first, the ability to think. Second, the ability to do things in the order of their importance.” 

“Franklin Bettger, one of America’s most successful insurance salesmen, doesn’t wait until five o’clock in the morning to plan his day. He plans it the night before-sets a goal for himself- a goal to sell a certain amount of insurance that day. If he fails, that amount is added to the next day-and so on.” 

“Good Working Habit No. 3. When You Face a Problem, Solve It Then and There if You Have the Facts  Necessary to Make a Decision. Don’t Keep Putting off Decisions.” 

“Walking ten blocks with a nagging wife can be more fatiguing than walking ten miles with an adoring sweetheart.” 

“Without perhaps being conscious of it. Miss Vallie Golden was using the famous “as if” philosophy. William  James counseled 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.”

“Is giving yourself a pep talk every day silly, superficial, childish? No, on the contrary, it is the very essence of sound psychology. “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” Those words are just as true today as they were  eighteen centuries ago when Marcus Aurelius first wrote them in his book of Meditations: “Our life is what our  thoughts make it.” 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.” 

“Mrs. Kerr reports that even college graduates come to her and say: “I have a B.A. degree from Dartmouth [or an  M.A. from Cornell]. Have you some kind of work I can do for your firm?” They don’t know themselves what  they are able to do, or even what they would like to do. Is it any wonder that so many men and women who start  out in life with competent minds and rosy dreams end up at forty in utter frustration and even with a nervous  breakdown? In fact, finding the right occupation is important even for your health. When Dr. Raymond Pearl, of  Johns Hopkins, made a study, together with some insurance companies, to discover the factors that make for long life, he placed “the right occupation” high on the list. He might have said, with Thomas Carlyle: “Blessed is  the man who has found his work. Let him ask no other blessedness.” 

“Second, remember that by asking his advice you are paying this man a compliment. He may feel flattered by your request. Remember that adults like to give advice to young men and women. The architect will probably enjoy the interview. If you hesitate to write letters asking for an appointment, then go to a man’s office without an appointment and tell him you would be most grateful if he would give you a bit of advice.” 

“Seventy per cent of all our worries, according to a survey made by the Ladies’ Home Journal, are about money.  George Gallup, of the Gallup Poll, says that his research indicates that most people believe that they would have no more financial worries if they could increase their income by only ten per cent. That is true in many cases,  but in a surprisingly large number of cases it is not true. For example, while writing this chapter, I interviewed an expert on budgets: Mrs. Elsie Stapleton-a woman who spent years as financial adviser to the customers and employees of Wanamaker’s Department Store in New York and of Gimbel’s.” 

“A lot of readers are going to say: “I wish this guy Carnegie had my bills to meet, my obligations to keep up-on my weekly salary. If he did, I’ll bet he would change his tune.” Well, I have had my financial troubles: I have  worked ten hours a day at hard physical labour in the cornfields and hay barns of Missouri-worked until my one  supreme wish was to be free from the aching pains of utter physical exhaustion.”

“I know what it means to live for twenty years in houses without a bathroom or running water. I know what it means to sleep in bedrooms where the temperature is fifteen degrees below zero. I know what it means to walk miles to save a nickel car-fare and have holes in the bottom of my shoes and patches on the seat of my pants. I  know what it means to order the cheapest dish on a restaurant menu, and to sleep with my trousers under the  mattress because I couldn’t afford to have them pressed by a tailor.” 

“But what are the principles of managing our money? How do we begin to make a budget and a plan? Here are eleven rules. Rule No. 1: Get the facts down on paper. When Arnold Bennett started out in London fifty years  ago to be a novelist, he was poor and hard-pressed. So he kept a record of what he did with every sixpence. Did he wonder where his money was going? No. He knew. He liked the idea so much that he continued to keep such a record even after he became rich, world-famous, and had a private yacht.” 

“John D. Rockefeller, Sr., also kept a ledger. He knew to the penny just where he stood before he said his prayers  at night and climbed into bed. You and I, too, will have to get notebooks and start keeping records. For the rest of our lives? No, not necessarily. Experts on budgets recommend that we keep an accurate account of every  nickel we spend for at least the first month-and, if possible, for three months. This is to give us an accurate record of where our money goes, so we can draw up a budget.” 

“The demand for Mrs. Speer’s home-baked pastry became so great that she had to move out of her kitchen into a  shop and hire two girls to bake for her: pies, cakes, bread, and rolls. During the war, people stood in line for an hour at a time to buy her home-baked foods. “I have never been happier in my life,” Mrs. Speer said. “I work in the shop twelve to fourteen hours a day, but I don’t get tired because it isn’t work to me. It is an adventure in living. I am doing my part to make people a little happier. I am too busy to be lonesome or worried. My work  has filled a gap in my life left vacant by the passing of my mother and husband and my home.” 

“If we can’t possibly improve our financial situation, maybe we can improve our mental attitude towards it. Let’s remember that other people have their financial worries, too. We may be worried because we can’t keep up with the Joneses; but the Joneses are probably worried because they can’t keep up with the Ritzes, and the Ritzes are worried because they can’t keep up with the Vanderbilts. Some of the most famous men in American history have had their financial troubles. Both Lincoln and Washington had to borrow money to make the trip to be inaugurated as President.”

“And let’s remember this: even if we owned the entire United States with a hog-tight fence around it, we could eat only three meals a day and sleep in only one bed at a time. To lessen financial worries, let’s try to follow  these eleven rules: 1. Get the facts down on paper. 2. Get a tailor-made budget that really fits your needs 1 3.  Learn how to spend wisely. 4. Don’t increase your headaches with your income. 5. Try to build credit, in the  event you must borrow. 6. Protect yourself against illness, fire, and emergency expenses. 7. Do not have your life-insurance proceeds paid to your widow in cash. 8. Teach your children a responsible attitude towards money. 9. If necessary, make a little extra money off your kitchen stove.” 

  1. Don’t gamble-ever. 11. If we can’t possibly improve our financial situation, let’s be good to ourselves and stop resenting what can’t be changed.” 

“I had often heard people say that ninety-nine per cent of the things we worry and stew and fret about never happen, but this old saying didn’t mean much to me until I ran across that list of worries I had typed out that dreary afternoon eighteen months previously.” 

“Son, you ought to get an education, you ought to make your living with your mind because your body will  always be a handicap.” 

“Shortly after that, four events happened that helped me to overcome my worries and my feeling of inferiority.  One of these events gave me courage and hope and confidence and completely changed all the rest of my life.  I’ll describe these events briefly: First: After attending this normal school for only eight weeks, I took an  examination and was given a third-grade certificate to teach in the country public schools. To be sure, this  certificate was good for only six months, but it was fleeting evidence that somebody had faith in me-the first evidence of faith that I ever had from anyone except my mother. Second: A country school board at a place called Happy Hollow hired me to teach at a salary of two dollars per day, or forty dollars per month. Here was  even more evidence of somebody’s faith in me. Third: As soon as I got my first cheque I bought some store clothes-clothes that I wasn’t ashamed to wear. If someone gave me a million dollars now, it wouldn’t thrill me half as much as that first suit of store clothes for which I paid only a few dollars.” 

“I can see that winning that speaking contest was the turning point of my life. The local newspapers ran an article about me on the front page and prophesied great things for my future. Winning that contest put me on the map locally and gave me prestige, and, what is far more important, it multiplied my confidence a hundredfold. I now realize that if I had not won that contest, I probably would never have become a member of the United States Senate.”

“(Editor’s note: It is interesting to know that Elmer Thomas, who was so ashamed of his ill-fitting clothes as a  youth, was later voted the best-dressed man in the United States Senate.)” 

“The seven years I spent with the Arabs convinced me that the neurotics, the insane, the drunks of America and  Europe are the product of the hurried and harassed lives we live in our so-called civilization.” 

“As long as I lived in the Sahara, I had no worries. I found there, in the Garden of Allah, the serene contentment and physical well-being that so many of us are seeking with tenseness and despair.” 

  1. At another time when I was terribly depressed, I forced myself to become physically active almost every hour of the day. I played five or six sets of violent games of tennis every morning, then took a bath, had lunch, and played eighteen holes of golf every afternoon. On Friday night I danced until one o’clock in the morning. I am a  great believer in working up a tremendous sweat. I found that depression and worry oozed out of my system  with the sweat.” 

“Quite often in New York, where I work, there is a chance for me to spend an hour at the Yale Club gym. No man  can worry while he is playing squash tennis or skiing. He is too busy to worry. The large mental mountains of trouble become minute molehills that new thoughts and acts quickly smooth down. I find the best antidote for worry is exercise. Use your muscles more and your brain less when you are worried, and you will be surprised at  the result. It works that way with me-worry goes when exercise begins.” 

“The fifteen minutes that I spent with Professor Baird did more for my health and happiness than all the rest of the four years I spent in college. “Jim,” he said, “you ought to sit down and face the facts. If you devoted half as much time and energy to solving your problems as you do to worrying about them, you wouldn’t have any worries. Worrying is just a vicious habit you have learned.” He gave me three rules to break the worry habit:  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.”

answers: “No, nothing could be that bad!” So I cheer up and tackle it with courage. I believe it is a good thing to  have to endure an agonising experience occasionally. It is good to know that we have hit bottom and survived.  That makes all our daily problems seem easy by comparison.” 

“I have kept my financial worries to a minimum also by doing two things. First, I have always followed a rule of absolute one hundred per cent integrity in everything. When I borrowed money, I paid back every penny. Few things cause more worry than dishonesty.” 

“My success in pictures exceeded my wildest expectations. I now get a salary of one hundred thousand a year  plus one half of all the profits on my pictures. However, I realise that this arrangement won’t go on for ever. But  I am not worried. I know that no matter what happens-even if I lose every dollar I have-I can always go back to  Oklahoma and get a job working for the Frisco Railway. I have protected my line of supplies.” 

“Somebody told me that John Jacob Astor had made millions investing in vacant land in New York. Who was  Astor? Just an immigrant peddler with an accent. If he could do it, why couldn’t I? … I was going to be rich! I  began to read the yachting magazines.” 

“An old saying of my mother’s came back: “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” But this wasn’t milk. This was my heart’s blood! After I had sat there a while I said to myself: “Well, I’ve hit bottom and I’ve stood it. There’s no place to  go now but up.” I began to think of the fine things that the mortgage had not taken from me. I still had my health and my friends. I would start again. I would not grieve about the past. I would repeat to myself every day the words I had often heard my mother say about spilt milk. I put into my work the energy that I had been putting into worrying. Little by little, my situation began to improve. I am almost thankful now that I had to go through  all that misery; it gave me strength, fortitude, and confidence. I know now what it means to hit bottom. I know it doesn’t kill you. I know we can stand more than we think we can. When little worries and anxieties and uncertainties try to disturb me now, I banish them by reminding myself of the time I sat on the packing case and said: “I’ve hit bottom and I’ve stood it. There is no place to go now but up.” 

“Every night when I went to bed, I would set the alarm clock to go off three hours later so I would be sure to get  up to attend to my brother. I remember that on winter nights I would keep a bottle of milk outside the window,  where it would freeze and turn into a kind of ice-cream that I loved to eat. When the alarm went off, this ice  cream outside the window gave me an additional incentive to get up. In the midst of all these troubles, I did two things that kept me from indulging in self- pity and worrying and embittering my life with resentment. First, I  kept myself busy teaching music from twelve to fourteen hours a day, so I had little time to think of my troubles;  and when I was tempted to feel sorry for myself, I kept saying to myself over and over: “Now, listen, as long as you can walk and feed yourself and are free from intense pain, you ought to be the happiest person in the world.  No matter what happens, never forget that as long as you live! Never! Never!” 

“This Missouri music teacher applied two principles described in this book: she kept too busy to worry, and she counted her blessings. The same technique may be helpful to you.” 

“Gradually I began to laugh at myself. I said: “See here, Cameron Shipp, you are acting like a fool. You are  taking yourself and your little activities much, much too seriously.” 

“Then I said to myself: “The reason my wife doesn’t mind washing the dishes is because she washes only one  day’s dishes at a time.” I saw what my trouble was. I was trying to wash today’s dishes, yesterday’s dishes and  dishes that weren’t even dirty yet. I saw how foolishly I was acting. I was standing in the pulpit, Sunday  mornings, telling other people how to live, yet, I myself was leading a tense, worried, hurried existence. I felt ashamed of myself.” 

“Worries don’t bother me any more now. No more stomach pains. No more insomnia. I now crumple up yesterday’s anxieties and toss them into the wastebasket, and I have ceased trying to wash tomorrow’s dirty dishes today.” 

“With millions at his command, he never put his head upon his pillow without worrying about losing his fortune.  No wonder worry wrecked his health. He had no time for play or recreation, never went to the theatre, never played cards, never went to a party. As Mark Hanna said, the man was mad about money. “Sane in every other  respect, but mad about money.” Rockefeller had once confessed to a neighbor in Cleveland, Ohio, that he  “wanted to be loved”


books Coach Gratitude Learning Mindfulness

davidsonhang View All →

Purpose: I create an empowering context for curious and hungry people looking for fulfillment, experiences, and creativity. We do this by developing their growth mindset, introducing self-love, and powerful group experiences. It results in people with strong boundaries, resilient mental health, and practical life skills

People leave with the ability to land their dream job, have autonomy and flexibility with their lifestyle, travel the world, and create from their heart and soul.


Davidson was once broke, insecure, low-confidence, and frustrated by doing all the wrong activities. Addicted to drugs, validation, and wallowing in self-pity. No relationship to family, and at the mercy of other people’s suggestions and opinions.

It was hell.

After spending $100k hiring different coaches, traveling the world doing workshops around the world, reading>1000 books, and through curiosity, have created the most effective system to remove people from that situation. My life’s work is to bring joy and abundance to people who as on a similar path as I was and bring back the joy and abundance of their life.

Through shared experiences and storytelling, I inspire and model behaviors that lead to a richer, more fulfilled life full of joy, experiences, passion, and ecstasy from the richness of relationships and being able to experience the depths of the human experience.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: