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How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Summary: I spent most of my life always worrying about stuff. Now fast forward to today, and it's extremely rare that I worry about anything, and when I do, it usually lasts about 20-30 seconds until I catch myself and stop. And cultivating that has made my life a hundred times better.
So I think if you're looking for ways to stop worrying and stressing, you understand the benefits and I don't have to sell you on it. The following review on how to win friends and influence people will do the work.
But just to give you a very short summary: You can actually start having time to enjoy life. You won't be constantly miserable, and you won't be destroying your health and making yourself regularly sick. And I think that sounds pretty good.
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Review-
The first Big Idea is: Ask Yourself, What's the worst thing that can happen?
I remember the first year in college always worrying about my grades. What was I going to do if I got a B+ instead of an A? Well, surely my life would be over, and I would never amount to do anything in life. Like, that has been severely the thought process going through my 17-year-old head.
Now fast forward five years, I was cleaning a few days ago and found my diploma in some weird place in my house. Haven't even opened the box since I got it, and will never even end up using it for the rest of my life.
That is a perfect example of what your brain does to you. It starts to freak out with uncertainty. If you don't clearly define the worst thing, your brain will find a way to equate you getting a B+ to you completely ruining your life. But in reality, the worst thing is never really that bad.
I get messages all the time from people saying, "Hey, I'm really inspired by your blog." "I want to start my own, but I'm experiencing a lot of resistance." And here's the thing... So Did I.
Your brain's default is literally to think, "I will write an article. People will hate it." "Everyone will make fun of me." "People will get angry." "They will come and burn down my house."
Like seriously, those are your either conscious or subconscious thoughts. What is the reality though?
The worst thing that will happen to you, in reality, is a negative comment. That is it. And it's the same thing with everything else like starting a business or giving a public speech.
I have no experience speaking in front of massive crowds, so if I delivered a speech right now, it would probably suck. I might have stage-fright, I might be awkward, but I would never, never refuse to do it.
Why? Because what's the worst thing that can happen?
It's not that the whole world is going to make fun of me, it's not that people are going to try to kill me everywhere I go after my speech. No! It's just some guy in the crowd who never even got invited up on the stage thinking that my speech isn't that great!!
Like who cares?
And look, I spent the first 17 years of my life washing my clothes with my hands with some shitty Russian detergent. So what's the worst thing that can happen?
That Now I have to wash a couple of shirts with this amazing coconut soap I have for a few days until the washing machine gets fixed? Or, that I can't wear my favorite shirt, so now I have to pick from the twenty other excellent shirts in my closet?
I mean, it's ridiculous! Always ask yourself, what's the worst thing that can happen? Always, define the worst outcome, and you'll soon start to realize how ridiculous most of your worries are, which now leads us to my next favorite idea... The absurdity of it all.
So I have a friend who's always worried about everything. And he called me, and he started to tell me about all the stuff he's stressed out and concerned about. And I said, "Okay. Look. Just Stop."
'Dale Carnegie How to Stop Worrying and Start Living' book tells a story of this guy in World War II, who's stuck in a submarine and knows that he'll be dead in the next few hours.
He sits there thinking about all the stuff he used to worry about at home, and how absurd it was, and makes a promise to never waste his life again like that if he survives.
Now, that might be hard to resonate with, so let me give you a more contemporary example.
People are having their heads chopped off every single day. Every single day! The only reason it's not you is that you were born in a specific place and they weren't. That's it!
Now going back to my friend, I told him, "Look, here's what I want you to do." "Every day, you will start your morning by watching somebody's head being chopped off." "And then you'll go about the rest of the day." And he started freaking out about how he can't do that and how he doesn't like blood and whatever.
Now, here's the thing. I know that's really crass and morbid, but I don't care! If you don't worry about stuff, Great! You don't have to watch anything. But if you're worried about stupid shit all the time, you have a disease! So you either treat yourself or never ask about how you can stop worrying again. EVER.
Here's what I will guarantee you. If you start your day by watching someone else have their head chopped off, nothing and I mean absolutely nothing could possibly happen to you for the rest of the day that you could get pissed off about and not feel like a complete retard.
Yes, when you've seen someone's head chopped off, you will have a weird feeling inside you.
As soon as you start to complain about how you deserve to be paid more at your job, or what you're going to do now since you got a B+ instead of an A, or how your washing machine is broken. You'll realize that if that guy had been given the chance to live and wear that same dirty shirt for the rest of his life without ever being able to wash it, He would have been the happiest man alive.
Realize the absurdity of it all in "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Review".
The third Big Idea: Staying Busy.
Now I don't mean the average busy person. Actually, those are the people who worry the most. The guy who works 12-hour days, and then comes home and watches Fox all night worrying about whether some guy can marry another guy or about all the foreigners who will come and take his job, you know, because he is the only one entitled to that job. I'm not talking about that kind of busy.
Here's how I like to stay busy-
Read a book that I like.
Go to the gym with my girlfriend.
Play around on the Piano and Compose.
Cook fantastic food.
Work on a project I'm passionate about.
Now, here's what happens when you do that. Your brain can't think of two things at one time. It just doesn't have that capability. You can try right now if you want. You can't think of your broken washing machine and at the same time, think of how much you love playing soccer. It's not how your brain works.
So the best way to get rid of the negative thoughts in your head is to start putting positive thoughts in there. Get busy with what you love, and your brain simply won't even have the ability to worry. Then you won't even ask questions like "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living".
And finally, a question that really resonated with me.
Suppose, here's what you're going to do in your life.
You're going to work and worry your entire life so you can gather a bunch of stuff, like your house and all the stupid shit in it. Now... if you're lucky, after 50 years of all that worry and stress, all your stuff might be worth a million dollars.
Here's the question, would you sell your Legs for a million dollars?
Let me ask you this, would you sell your Legs for a billion dollars?
I wouldn't. And you probably wouldn't either.
Would you sell your arms for another billion dollars? No? There you go, you already have something that you value at two billion dollars! Hopefully more. But, you don't have to be all Zen, you could be a greedy capitalist like me and understand this.
Now here's what you're going to do. You're going to ignore and not utilize something worth two billion dollars because you're too busy worrying and stressing about the things that might amount to 1 million dollars at the end of your life. Oh, and you'll be considered really lucky if that happens by the way!
Alright, I don't know if you see how crazy that is, but that's kind of like having a huge mansion, a personal jet, every single car you ever wished for, and not using and enjoying those things because you're too worried about one day being able to buy a Corolla. That is crazy! …and sad. You already have everything that you value at billions and billions of dollars.
The message "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Summary" conveys is that stop ignoring, wasting, and treating it like shit for hours and days, so you can worry and bitch about how your phone bill went up from a $100 to a $120.