Did not you ever hear: “Don’t worry, be happy!”? Stress and extra emotions makes your body to waste energy and blocking your brain for effective work.
But how not to worry if situation is stressful?
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – must read! :) Download the book PDF
Click [Continue Reading…] for one of the stories right here…
Would you like a quick, sure-fire recipe for handling worry situations-a technique you can start using right away, before you go any further in reading this book?
Then let me tell you about the method worked out by Willis H. Carrier, the brilliant engineer who launched the air-conditioning industry, and who is now head of the world-famous Carrier Corporation in Syracuse, New York. It is one of the best techniques I ever heard of for solving worry problems, and I got it from Mr. Carrier personally when we were having lunch together one day at the Engineers’ Club in New York.
“When I was a young man,” Mr. Carrier said, “I worked for the Buffalo Forge Company in Buffalo, New York. I was handed the assignment of installing a gas-cleaning device in a plant of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company at Crystal City, Missouri-a plant costing millions of dollars. The purpose of this installation was to remove the impurities from the gas so it could be burned without injuring the engines. This method of cleaning gas was new. It had been tried only once before- and under different conditions. In my work at Crystal City, Missouri, unforeseen difficulties arose. It worked after a fashion -but not well enough to meet the guarantee we had made.
“I was stunned by my failure. It was almost as if someone had struck me a blow on the head. My stomach, my insides, began to twist and turn. For a while I was so worried I couldn’t sleep.
“Finally, common sense reminded me that worry wasn’t getting me anywhere; so I figured out a way to handle my problem without worrying. It worked superbly. I have been using this same anti-worry technique for more than thirty years.
It is simple. Anyone can use it. It consists of three steps:
“Step I. I analysed the situation fearlessly and honestly and figured out what was the worst that could possibly happen as a result of this failure. No one was going to jail me or shoot me. That was certain. True, there was a chance that I would lose my position; and there was also a chance that my employers would have to remove the machinery and lose the twenty thousand dollars we had invested.
“Step II. After figuring out what was the worst that could possibly happen, I reconciled myself to accepting it, if necessary. I said to myself: This failure will be a blow to my record, and it might possibly mean the loss of my job; but if it does, I can always get another position. Conditions could be much worse; and as far as my employers are concerned- well, they realise that we are experimenting with a new method of cleaning gas, and if this experience costs them twenty thousand dollars, they can stand it. They can charge it up to research, for it is an experiment.
“After discovering the worst that could possibly happen and reconciling myself to accepting it, if necessary, an extremely important thing happened: I immediately relaxed and felt a sense of peace that I hadn’t experienced in days.
“Step III. From that time on, I calmly devoted my time and energy to trying to improve upon the worst
which I had already accepted mentally.
“I now tried to figure out ways and means by which I might reduce the loss of twenty thousand dollars that we faced. I made several tests and finally figured out that if we spent another five thousand for additional equipment, our problem would be solved. We did this, and instead of the firm losing twenty thousand, we made fifteen thousand.
“I probably would never have been able to do this if I had kept on worrying, because one of the worst features about worrying is that it destroys our ability to concentrate. When we worry, our minds jump here and there and everywhere, and we lose all power of decision. However, when we force ourselves to face the worst and accept it mentally, we then eliminate all those vague imaginings and put ourselves in a position in which we are able to concentrate on our problem.
“This incident that I have related occurred many years ago. It worked so superbly that I have been using it ever since; and, as a result, my life has been almost completely free from worry.”
Now, why is Willis H. Carrier’s magic formula so valuable and so practical, psychologically speaking? Because it yanks us down out of the great grey clouds in which we fumble around when we are blinded by worry. It plants our feet good and solid on the earth. We know where we stand. And if we haven’t solid ground under us, how in creation can we ever hope to think anything through?
Professor William James, the father of applied psychology, has been dead for thirty-eight years. But if he were alive today, and could hear his formula for facing the worst, he would heartily approve it. How do I know that? Because he told his own students: “Be willing to have it so … .Be willing to have it so,” he said, because “… Acceptance of what has happened is the first step in overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”
The same idea was expressed by Lin Yutang in his widely read book, The Importance of Living. “True peace of mind,” said this Chinese philosopher, “comes from accepting the worst. Psychologically, I think, it means a release of energy.”
That’s it, exactly! Psychologically, it means a new release of energy! When we have accepted the worst, we have nothing more to lose. And that automatically means-we have everything to gain! “After facing the worst,” Willis H. Carrier reported, “I immediately relaxed and felt a sense of peace that I hadn’t experienced in days. From that time on, I was able to think.”
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Yet millions of people have wrecked their lives in angry turmoil, because they refused to accept the worst; refused to try to improve upon it; refused to salvage what they could from the wreck. Instead of trying to reconstruct their fortunes, they engaged in a bitter and “violent contest with experience”-and ended up victims of that brooding fixation known as melancholia.
Would you like to see how someone else adopted Willis H. Carrier’s magic formula and applied it to his own problem? Well, here is one example, from a New York oil dealer who was a student in my classes.
“I was being blackmailed!” this student began. “I didn’t believe it was possible-I didn’t believe it could happen outside of the movies-but I was actually being blackmailed! What happened was this: the oil company of which I was the head had a number of delivery trucks and a number of drivers. At that time, OPA regulations were strictly in force, and we were rationed on the amount of oil we could deliver to any one of our customers. I didn’t know it, but it seems that certain of our drivers had been delivering oil short to our regular customers, and then reselling the surplus to customers of their own.
“The first inkling I had of these illegitimate transactions was when a man who claimed to be a government inspector came to see me one day and demanded hush money. He had got documentary proof of what our drivers had been doing, and he threatened to turn this proof over to the District Attorney’s office if I didn’t cough up.
“I knew, of course, that I had nothing to worry about-personally, at least. But I also knew that the law says a firm is responsible for the actions of its employees. What’s more, I knew that if the case came to court, and it was aired in the newspapers, the bad publicity would ruin my business. And I was proud of my business-it had been founded by my father twenty-four years before.
“I was so worried I was sick! I didn’t eat or sleep for three days and nights. I kept going around in crazy circles. Should I pay the money-five thousand dollars-or should I tell this man to go ahead and do his damnedest? Either way I tried to make up my mind, it ended in nightmare.
“Then, on Sunday night, I happened to pick up the booklet on How to Stop Worrying which I had been given in my Carnegie class in public speaking. I started to read it, and came across the story of Willis H. Carrier. ‘Face the worst’, it said. So I asked myself: ‘What is the worst that can happen if I refuse to pay up, and these blackmailers turn their records over to the District Attorney?’
“The answer to that was: The ruin of my business-that’s the worst that can happen. I can’t go to jail. All that can happen is that I shall be ruined by the publicity.’
“I then said to myself: ‘All right, the business is ruined. I accept that mentally. What happens next?’
“Well, with my business ruined, I would probably have to look for a job. That wasn’t bad. I knew a lot about oil- there were several firms that might be glad to employ me. … I began to feel better. The blue funk I had been in for three days and nights began to lift a little. My emotions calmed down. … And to my astonishment, I was able to think.
“I was clear-headed enough now to face Step III-improve on the worst. As I thought of solutions, an entirely new angle presented itself to me. If I told my attorney the whole situation, he might find a way out which I hadn’t thought of. I know it sounds stupid to say that this hadn’t even occurred to me before-but of course I hadn’t been thinking, I had only been worrying! I immediately made up my mind that I would see my attorney first thing in the morning-and then I went to bed and slept like a log!
“How did it end? Well, the next morning my lawyer told me to go and see the District Attorney and tell him the truth. I did precisely that. When I finished I was astonished to hear the D.A. say that this
blackmail racket had been going on for months and that the man who claimed to be a ‘government agent’ was a crook wanted by the police. What a relief to hear all this after I had tormented myself for three days and nights wondering whether I should hand over five thousand dollars to this professional swindler!
“This experience taught me a lasting lesson. Now, whenever I face a pressing problem that threatens to worry me, I give it what I call ‘the old Willis H. Carrier formula’.”
At just about the same time Willis H. Carrier was worrying over the gas-cleaning equipment he was installing in a plant in Crystal City, Missouri, a chap from Broken Bow, Nebraska, was making out his will. His name was Earl P. Haney, and he had duodenal ulcers. Three doctors, including a celebrated ulcer specialist, had pronounced Mr. Haney an “incurable case”. They had told him not to eat this or that, and not to worry or fret-to keep perfectly calm. They also told him to make out his will!
These ulcers had already forced Earl P. Haney to give up a fine and highly paid position. So now he had nothing to do, nothing to look forward to except a lingering death.
Then he made a decision: a rare and superb decision. “Since I have only a little while to live,” he said, “I may as well make the most of it. I have always wanted to travel around the world before I die. If I am ever going to do it, I’ll have to do it now.” So he bought his ticket.
The doctors were appalled. “We must warn you,” they said to Mr. Haney, “that if you do take this trip, you will be buried at sea.”
“No, I won’t,” he replied. “I have promised my relatives that I will be buried in the family plot at Broken Bow, Nebraska. So I am going to buy a casket and take it with me.”
He purchased a casket, put it aboard ship, and then made arrangements with the steamship company- in the event of his death-to put his corpse in a freezing compartment and keep it there till the liner returned home. He set out on his trip, imbued with the spirit of old Omar:
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend, Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and-sans End!
However, he didn’t make the trip “sans wine”. “I drank highballs, and smoked long cigars on that trip,” Mr. Haney says in a letter that I have before me now. “I ate all kinds of foods-even strange native foods which were guaranteed to kill me. I enjoyed myself more than I had in years! We ran into monsoons and typhoons which should have put me in my casket, if only from fright-but I got an enormous kick out of all this adventure.
“I played games aboard the ship, sang songs, made new friends, stayed up half the night. When we reached China and India, I realised that the business troubles and cares that I had faced back home were paradise compared to the poverty and hunger in the Orient. I stopped all my senseless worrying
and felt fine. When I got back to America, I had gained ninety pounds. I had almost forgotten I had ever had a stomach ulcer. I had never felt better in my life. I promptly sold the casket back to the undertaker, and went back to business. I haven’t been ill a day since.”
At the time this happened, Earl P. Haney had never even heard of Willis H. Carrier and his technique for handling worry. “But I realise now,” he told me quite recently, “that I was unconsciously using the selfsame principle. I reconciled myself to the worst that could happen-in my case, dying. And then I improved upon it by trying to get the utmost enjoyment out of life for the time I had left. … If,” he continued, “if I had gone on worrying after boarding that ship, I have no doubt that I would have made the return voyage inside of that coffin. But I relaxed-I forgot it. And this calmness of mind gave me a new birth of energy which actually saved my life.” (Earl P. Haney is now living at 52 Wedgemere Ave., Winchester, Mass.)
Now, if Willis H. Carrier could save a twenty-thousand-dollar contract, if a New York business man could save himself from blackmail, if Earl P. Haney could actually save his life, by using this magic formula, then isn’t it possible that it may be the answer to some of your troubles? Isn’t it possible that it may even solve some problems you thought were unsolvable?
So, Rule 2 is: If you have a worry problem, apply the magic formula of Willis H. Carrier by doing these three things-
1. Ask yourself,’ ‘What is the worst that can possibly happen?”
2. Prepare to accept it if you have to.
3. Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst.