“Chronic worrying affects your daily life so much that it interferes with your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs.” WebMD Health and Balance

So that is the bad part of worrying so how do you stop worrying and start living. Well I recommend getting and reading the book. “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” Dale Carnegie it’s only $7.99 on Amazon. So first let me tell you just two methods that worked for me in the past and I have to remind myself to use these methods daily, weekly, and monthly.  It comes from the first chapter of Dale Carnegie’s book, titled “Live in ‘Day-tight Compartments'”.  There was a young man in the spring of 1871 who was a medical student at Montreal General Hospital. This young man “…was worried about passing the final examination, worried about what to do, where to go, how to build up a practice, how to make a living”.  he picked up a book and read 21 words by Thomas Carlyle that changed his life. This young man then went on to become the most famous physician of his generation. He was knighted by the King of England, organized Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and became the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford. What were the words?

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand. –  Thomas Carlyle

On a ship the captain can press a button on the bridge and with the sound of machinery various parts of the ship are immediately shut off one from another into watertight compartments.

Get on the bridge of your life and…Touch a button and hear, at every level of your life, the iron doors shutting out the Past – the dead yesterdays. Touch another and shut off, with a metal curtain, the Future – the unborn tomorrows. Then you are safe – safe for today!…Shut off the past! Let the dead past bury it’s dead….Shut out the yesterdays 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. Waste 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 a life of ‘day-tight compartments.’ – Sir William Osler speaking to Yale Students

The second method is the magic formula of Willis H. Carrier:

a. Ask yourself, ‘What is the worst that can possibly happen if I can’t solve the problem?’

b. Prepare yourself mentally to accept the worst if necessary.

c. Then calmly try to improve upon the worst – which you have already mentally agreed to accept.

I used these two methods in the late 90’s and after the millennium when I was working for a small company called Gateway. I was having the best year of my sales career, at the time, and the company was getting ready to lay off hundreds of workers. The work environment was tense and by living in day-tight compartments I was able to have the best month ever in revenue and was bringing in the highest revenue of my 12 man team. My wife and I discussed the magic formula and prepared ourselves for the worst possible result, but thinking that because I was doing so well it was a long shot that I would be laid off. Well you guessed it, I was.

I look back on that time now and believe it was one of the best lessons that I learned in life. The beginning of my journey to live outside of the “Comfort Zone”

So remember the crippling effects of worry and “Stop Worrying and Start Living”!


Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn


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