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Don’t worry, be happy
For those who have had the opportunity to study in the United States, it is common for students there to
enrol for one or more courses offered during summer school.
I registered for a five-week course in Fundamentals of Psychology while studying at Syracuse University in New York many years ago.
One of the topics taught and discussed in the class was on psychology of worry.
What does worry mean?
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines worry as to keep thinking about unpleasant things that might happen or about problems that you have.
A good advice on methods of healthy living with regards to worry can be found in the book written by Bob Adams, The Everything Time Management Book.
He simply said: “Don’t worry about things that are beyond your control. Let go. Unnecessary worry only creates unnecessary anxiety. You are likely to adopt an overall feeling of helplessness, which may spill over into your other activities”.
It would be beneficial to get ideas from famous authors who had written books on this subject.
One such author was Dale Carnegie who gained fame with his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Two of worry-related rules, as mentioned in his book, can be used as evergreen examples:
Rule 1: Instead of worrying about ingratitude, let expect it. A businessman in Texas felt bitter for his 40 employees did not say “Thank You” to him after receiving a bonus of about US$300 each for Christmas.
According to Carnegie, instead of wallowing in resentment and self-pity, that man might have asked himself why he didn’t get any appreciation.
Maybe he underpaid and overworked his employees. Maybe they considered a Christmas bonus not a gift, but something they had earned. Maybe he was so critical and unapproachable that no one dared or cared to thank him.
On the other hand, maybe the employees were selfish, mean and ill-mannered. Maybe this. Maybe that. According to Carnegie, this man made the very human and distressing mistake of expecting gratitude. He just didn’t know human nature.
Rule 2: When fate hands us a lemon, let’s try to make lemonade.
In order for us to live a simple and happy life, we should strive to follow the principle of worrying less about what the others think, say and do.
[as published in New Straits Times, LETTERS column, page 18
Saturday, 14 February 2015]
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