Monday, January 11, 2010

How to stop Worrying

I'm reading Dale Carnegie's book "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living". What impresses me with this book and his other, "How to Win Friends" is that this should be taught in college.

Worrying robs us of our precious life. Concern is healthy, but allowing concern to become worry to become excess unfounded fear is not healthy.

Two points I want to highlight in Dale Carnegie's book:

1. Compartmentalize. He likens our life to a huge ocean liner. The captain of the ocean liner can turn the ship with a push of the button, allowing some compartments to open, and others to be shut tight. So with our life. The past we can do nothing about, the future will hopefully happen but we can't control that either. But the present--today-- we can live to the fullest.

After reading, I thought I was pretty good about the past. But I realized I focus too much on the future. Of course I want my future to be one of happiness. And I can certainly take steps today to make that happen. But the future area needs to be shut off and kept water-tight. Today is what I have. This is what I know.

2. On Worry. We must step back and see what is the worst that can happen in any given situation. The ultimate worst thing that can ever happen is death. And whether sooner or later, it's definitely going to happen. So in any given situation, step back, and ask, "what is the worst that can happen".

When I look at the future I believe our country is in for some very trying times. So I make decisions that I think are appropriate. But my responsibility lies in making the most of today. Thanking God for this most precious gift, raising my hands in gratitude and eating a Burger King double whopper.


Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

An update, One day later

Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up.

When you read the post on worrying, you probably thought, "Geez Mike, aren't you using a bit of hyperbole in that the worst that can happen is that you die".

My father-in-law has not been feeling well for the last 2 days. We took him to the emergency room. His symptoms have been lethargy, vomiting of blood and bile. The thinking by the doctor was diverticulitis so he ordered a cat scan of his abdomen.

But chest x-rays showed something a little bit strange, so they ordered a cat scan of his thoracic area. It showed something that is rare.

The aorta has 3 layers. The aorta is the main tube that comes from the heart. For my FIL the layer of the aorta that is in contact with the blood, is separating. So blood is not going where it should go, and I don't know what other problems it's causing.

My FIL's son is a doctor who was there to help make the diagnosis. For me, as a layman, I am very impressed. That no invasive surgery had to be performed to come to an intricate diagnosis so quickly, makes me appreciate medicine at its finest. Of course I'm proud of my BIL too.

On to why I'm writing the update to this post.

Son says to Dad, "Pop, I'm not going to lie to you. If you have the surgery, it's very dangerous. You may not make it".

So my comment about "what's the worst that can happen". It wasn't hyperbole.

Pray for my father-in-law. He's a good man.


FIL is out of surgery and it went fine. Next 2 days are critical, but hopefully he's going to live. It's quite an amazing experience. Life changing.


It's been just over a day since my FILs operation. 85 years old, major vascular surgery, and the dude is up and going to the bathroom. I tell you, it's unbelievable.

He is at the Harbor UCLA hospital in Torrance. This is a county hospital that takes all indigent, drug addicts, and gunshot victims. It's a very crowded hospital. It has been one of the best experiences for me. I guess because of it's tenuousness, everyone makes it work.

The guards are friendly. The nurses are so nice. And the people are all nice. It's an experience I'll never forget. As I was going through security upon entering the building, I asked security if the x ray would toast my sandwich as it passes through the machine. She thought that was the funniest thing. Everyone there is ready to talk. Just ask a little question, and be ready to talk for 15 minutes. It was really a joy for me to meet so many pleasant people.

And I have pictures of my wife today with her father that I will post. The pictures are quite precious and brings tears to my eyes. There's a quiet inner joy my wife exudes that I think will be noticeable in the pictures. Even though my wife is in her 40s, her father is still her "daddy". She is so happy that she gets to spend more of her life with him.

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