Tuesday, June 3, 2014



This happened 40 years ago in the year 1974.

I was in the 3rd year of my 5 year B. Tech. course in Engineering.

Suddenly, we were faced with a worrying situation of instability and financial insecurity.

I felt extremely insecure and was overwhelmed with worry.

Seeing my melancholic state, a classmate who lived in the adjoining hostel room gave me a book: HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND START LIVING by DALE CARNEGIE

“I have got this book for you – do read it and I am sure it will do you good,” he said.

My friend was right.

The simple tips in the book, easy to understand and implement, helped me immensely to mitigate worry.

I am sure you have read this famous self-help book.

40 years have passed since, but I still have the copy of the book presented to me by my hostel-mate.

And, from time to time, I still pull it out of the bookshelves whenever I start worrying.

Of the numerous tips given in the book, I found three tips very useful to alleviate worry:

1. Live in “Day-tight Compartments”

2. Ask yourself: “What is the worst that can happen?” and mentally prepare yourself to accept the worst. Then, try your best to improve upon the worst.

3. Crowd worry out of your mind by keeping busy.

These 3 bits of simple wisdom helped me in 1974 – I started living one day at a time (in fact, I used to think of only the thing I was doing at that time – one thing at a time) – I mentally prepared myself for the worst – and I got so busy with my studies that I had no time to worry.

I used this formula to overcome worry throughout my naval career too, whenever I was in an adverse situation.

Right now, I am going through a rather worrying situation.

Points 1 and 2 are feasible to follow – I am trying to live one day at a time and mentally preparing myself for the worst eventuality.

Earlier, when I was working in the navy, point 3 was feasible to follow, as I could get busy in my work.

But now that I have retired, how do I get busy?

Well, I have decided to keep busy writing and blogging, and once I drown myself in this activity, I hope I am able to crowd out worry from my mind.

Let’s see if it works – well, it has worked before and I am hopeful it will work again.

“How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” was my first self-help book.

Subsequently, I have read many philosophy and spiritual books.

But I still like “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” – it does not profess any high-falutin concepts but gives simple tips which are easy to understand and implement in daily life.

If you have not read this evergreen self-help book, do get a copy – it may help you in your worrying times.

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