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Advice Blog

How To Stop Worrying And Start Living

Dale Carnegie proposed that all kinds of worries can be resolved by applying a simple three-step analysis.

That is precisely what Galen Litchfield did in 1942 when stuck in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, he got news that a Japanese admiral had found out about the assets he’d hidden from the Japanese, the punishment for which he was to be thrown into the notorious torture chamber of the Japanese secret police on Monday. Litchfield heard the news on Sunday and wondered what to do. His solution was to follow these three steps:

First, get the facts about why you’re worried: Litchfield took a typewriter and wrote down what he was worried about – being tortured to death in the morning.

Second, analyze those facts: Litchfield wrote “What can I do about it?” and underneath listed his various options, like fleeing, explaining himself or acting like nothing happened.

Third, make a decision about what to do, and do it: Litchfield decided his only option was to go to work like nothing had happened.

Apparently, the Japanese admiral had calmed down, for he merely scowled at Litchfield.

As you can see, analyzing your worries carefully can even save your life sometimes. If you are anything like me, we tend to worry all the time. I hope you can utilize the three-step analysis above to stop worrying and start living.