This was one of the first books I read around 15 years ago as a Management Consultant working for Dale Carnegie Training. Dale Carnegie was famous for his first book he wrote called ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’, which sold over 30 million copies and is just as popular today. His books look at improving on business interactions and working on those capabilities demanded in a tough business environment. Essentially the book looks at strengthening interpersonal relationships, managing stress and utilising techniques required in fast-changing work place conditions. The principles from his initial book were used throughout his training programmes with other books he published along the way.

Carnegie recognised that we are incessant worriers. The trigger for writing this book was Carnegie’s unhappiness and constant worrying about his own life, which he discovered was making him less effective in his daily living. He spent time interviewing prominent people such as Henry Ford, Eleanor Roosevelt and many more people from all walks of life.   

Carnegie provides a number of practical formulas which have been tried and tested, evidencing that the implementation of which is likely to get rid of at least 50 per cent of business worries. When he embarked upon the writing of this book to do something about his incessant worrying, he looked at ways in which he could improve his thinking in order to live productively. He provides some basic principles and formulas, easily identifiable that we could all incorporate into our daily lives, making a fundamental and positive change to the way we live.

In the first part of his book, Carnegie points out that we need to live in ‘day-tight’ compartments, that we should avoid worrying about the future and live each moment until the end of the day. He provides a magic formula, and uses the maxim, ‘when trouble knocks on your door ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen’. If necessary he says, prepare yourself for the worst in a calm manner and improve on the worst because you have mentally prepared yourself to. 

The overall principles are broken down further, part 2 looks at analysing worry and how to achieve that efficiently.  Part 3 looks at ‘how to break the worry habit before it breaks you’ and how to put worry out of your mind.  Part 4 looks at ‘seven ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and happiness’.  Part 5 considers the ‘golden rule for conquering worry’.  Part 6, ‘how to keep from worrying about criticism’;  Part 7 offers some interesting tips on ‘ways to prevent fatigue and worry and keep your energy and spirits high’ the end of this section proposes a practical rule to help get over the small insignificant things that upset us because ‘life is too short to be little’.  Part 8, suggests ‘how to find the kind of work in which you may be happy and successful’.  Part 10, ‘how to lessen your financial worries’, interestingly according to a survey at the time they found that 70 per cent of all our worries is generally about money. What I found surprising is the suggestion that 99 per cent of things we worry about don’t actually happen!

A pragmatic and insightful read, that applies to anyone wanting to improve on their life, either from a business or personal perspective.  The practical formulas are easy to follow and implement because they are accompanied with some wonderful stories and examples which illustrate Carnegie’s teaching.

If you want to read this book, you can purchase it here: