A couple of months ago my wife and I were in an antique store shopping. I love looking at old books, and I happened to find a book by Dale Carnegie. The title is “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. It was written in 1944. I started reading it last night, what a treasure! I think I paid $3.00.
Part one is about fundamental facts you should know about worry. This stuff is so good I want to share it as I read. Here are the nuggets from the first chapter:
“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” by Thomas Carlyle.
Carnegie talked about having “Day-tight compartments”, which means to seal off the doors of the past-dead yesterdays- and the future-unborn tomorrows. Then you are safe for today. Similar to water-tight compartments to protect what is inside from water that can corrode things.
He talked about starting out the day with this short prayer from Jesus, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Asking only for today’s bread and not next week or next month or last months moldy bread. Carnegie also quoted Jesus who said “Have no anxiety for the tomorrow.” We are to think about tomorrow and make plans, but should have no anxiety or worry about tomorrow.
“Good thinking deals with causes and effects and leads to logical, constructive planning; bad thinking frequently leads to tension and nervous breakdowns.”
He also said “One of the most appalling comments on our present way of life is that half of all beds in our hospitals are reserved for patients with nervous and mental troubles, patients who have collapsed under the crushing burden of accumulated yesterdays and fearful tomorrows.” That was in 1944 and it is still very true today.
We can’t live in the past and we can’t know the future and when we focus on those we wreck both our bodies and our minds.
“So let’s be content to live the only time we can possibly live: From now until bedtime.”
He also talked briefly in chapter one about viewing everyday as a new life. That simple thought can help us overcome loneliness and all kinds of fears. It can give us a new enthusiasm for new life every day!
John Maxwell wrote a book called “Today Matters” and that is what this is all about. Focus on today, what can I accomplish today? What project or task can I complete right now? Taking one thing at a time and doing it with excellence is the key.
One final thought: “Think that this day will never dawn again. Life is slipping away with incredible speed. Today is our most precious possession. It is our only sure possession.” The Bible says “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”