Caveat Emptor: Great book, but throws in way too much Christianity/religion in the face of the reader. IMHO, it is much easier for humans to place absolute confidence and faith in an abstract higher power, than it is to place faith in their innate prowess. Substitute “prayer” and “God” in this book summary for something similar that works for you.

  • Six point action plan to stop fuming and fretting:
    1.  Get in a relaxed physical position.
    2. Visualize: Your mind is the surface of a lake, tossed by waves and in tumult. But when the waves subside, the surface of the lake is placid and unruffled. This imagery should help you calm down.
    3. Spend two-three minutes thinking about the most beautiful and calming nature scenes you’ve witnessed.
    4. Repeat, slowly to yourself, words along the lines of “tranquillity”, “serenity”, “peace” and let the effect of them sink in.
    5. Make a list of times in your life when you were worried and anxious, and things turned out fine (for the more religious, “God took care of everything”).
    6. Rely on a higher power to take charge of the situation and fix it.

  • “Imagineering” – the use of mental images to build factual results.
    • Children are more imaginative and more effective at fighting away negativity – a child responds to the game of kissing away a hurt.
  • Develop the right mindset to see the possibilities:  
    a. Golf Ball example – the obstacles are only mental. The author was worried about a golf shot which had landed in the grass in an obstacle position. Had it been flat, clear land, that position would have been perfect for the next shot. Close scrutiny from a friend showed that the golf ball ‘obstacle’ position could be overcome – the author was worried about the grass, but he was forgetting that the location was still conducive and that the grass was soft and chewable, so a sharp hit from the club would easily overcome the grass.                                                                                                     b. Construction example – a construction tycoon met his workers on a coastal area where they had been doing work with heavy earth-moving machinery. They were disappointed that recent floods/storms had covered the machinery in swamp/mud and months of work had been destroyed. He smiled and pointed to the sky – it was clear blue and sunny, and that made him realize that in a few weeks, the swamp/mud would dry off in the sun and they would be able to recover and proceed again.
  • Worry is the most subtle and destructive of human diseases. Break the habit of worrying – you become a worrier by practicing worry.
    • Remind yourself that it is a really bad mental habit.
    • With all the strength and perseverance you can muster, start practicing faith.
    • Many people fail to overcome worry – they allow the problem to seem complicated and do not attack it with simple techniques.
    • Long-held and habitual worry is like choking up someone putting fingers around their throat and pressing hard.
    • Married people live longer than singles. Claim: a married couple can divide the worry.
  • Overwork is of no use:  The author offered a doctor who seemed to always deep-in-work, the ‘prescription’ of taking half-day off each week and spending it in a cemetery. He was to ponder on souls who were there permanently, and realize that they too thought only they could do certain things, and once they left, the world goes on about its business.
  • Longevity: Study of long-living people shows the following habits:
    1. Kept busy.
    2. Used moderation in all things.
    3. Ate lightly and simply.
    4. Got a great deal of fun out of life.
    5. They were early to bed and early up.
    6. Free from worry and fear, esp. fear of death.
    7. Serene minds and faith in God.
  • Steps to fight anger:
    • Anger is an emotion, and an emotion is hot. Cool it down. Its difficult to get mad lying in a chair, or with your mouth gaping open or with your palm open and fingers stretched. Do all of these.
    • Say aloud to yourself: “Don’t be a fool. This won’t get me anywhere, so skip it.”
    • Mentally say the first ten words of your favorite prayer.
    • Anger is an accumulation of a multitude of minor irritations. Make a list of everything that bothers or irritates you. Dry up the tiny rivulets that feed the great river of anger.
    • Make each separate irritation a special object of prayer. Get a victory over each, one at a time.
    • Each time you feel the surge of anger, you say, “Is this really worth what I am doing to myself emotionally?”
    • When a hurt-feeling situation arises, get it straightened as quickly as possible.
    • Apply grievance drainage to your mind
    • If all else fails, pray ~500 times for the person who has hurt you. Its hard to maintain resentment after so many prayers!
  • Problem-solving steps:
    • Believe that there is a solution.
    • Keep calm. Tension blocks the flow of thought power.
    • Don’t try to force an answer. Keep your mind relaxed.
    • Assemble all the facts impartially, impersonally and judicially.
    • List these facts on paper – this clarifies your thinking, bring the various elements into an orderly system. You see as well as you think.
    • Pray about the problem, affirming that ‘God’ will flash an illumination into your mind.
    • Trust insight and intuition.
  • 3 step plan for easy-does-it: Practice the easy-does-it method for reducing tension.
  • Analyze people who are really efficient and they always seem to do things easily, with a minimum of effort. In doing so, they release maximum power.
    1. Collapse physically. Think of yourself as a jellyfish, getting your body into complete looseness. Form a picture of a huge burlap bag of potatoes – and then cut it and let the potatoes roll out. That is you – your mind and your body.
    2. Drain the mind.
    3. Think spiritually.
  • Reduce the number of worry and sorry words in your conversation: Example: “I am worried that I will miss the train” – start early enough! The uncluttered mind is systematic and is able to regulate time.
  • Ten rules for effective prayer:
    1. Set aside a few minutes each day to think about God.
    2. Talk to God in your own language. Tell God what is on your mind.
    3. Use minute gaps in the day to shut out the world, and concentrate briefly on God’s presence.
    4. Do not always ask when you pray, spend most of your prayer giving thanks.
    5. Sincere prayers can reach out and surround your loved ones with God’s love and protection. Pray with this belief.
    6. Only positive thoughts in prayers get results.
    7. Be willing to take what God gives you – it may be better than what you asked for.
    8. Do your best and leave your results confidently to God.
    9. Pray for people who have mistreated you – resentment blocks your spiritual power.
    10. The more you pray for other people, the more the prayers come back to you.
  • Steps to overcome negativity:
    • Force yourself to speak hopefully for 24 hours about EVERYTHING.
    • Do this a few times,now allow yourself to be “realistic”. What seemed “realistic” a week ago will now come across as “pessimistic” to you.
    • Feed your mind as you feed your body – positive thoughts.
    • Spend time with positive friends
    • Avoid arguments – but whenever a negative opinion is expressed, counter it with a positive and optimistic opinion.
  • Anger Management: When you find yourself getting angry – observe yourself in the third person, and lower your tone down. It is hard to have an argument when you’re whispering. It is hard to get mad when your fingers extended and stretched out or open your mouth to breathe deeply (you can’t clench your fists or your teeth).
  • Be in control: Dale Carnegie, on purpose, leaves his office when busiest. This demonstrates control of time, rather than being controlled by it.
  • Keep a daily ritual – to mark the end of a day. It could be the turning a cup upside down. It could be tearing off the daily sheet from the calendar – the day is over. You did the best you could out of it. You accepted what God gave you, and it’s now time to make peace with it. Practice emptying your mind daily before sleep. Or filling in the right thoughts. During sleep, thoughts tend to sink in more deeply into the subconscious.
  • Practice happy thinking – fill your mind with peaceful, happy experiences you’ve had and pass them through your mind several times a day.

Powerful Quotes:

  • Practically speaking, there are only a few human stories, and they have all been enacted previously.
  • Every great personality I’ve ever known, anyone who has demonstrated the capacity for prodigious work has been a person, not necessarily pious, but extraordinarily well-organized from an emotional and psychological point of view.
  • The longer I live, the more I am convinced that neither age nor circumstance needs to deprive us of energy and vitality.
  • The surest way to not become tired is to lose yourself in something in which you have a profound conviction.
  • You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind.
  • People who lack energy are disorganized to one degree or another by deep, fundamental emotional and psychological conflicts.
  • God runs a beauty parlor – comes from the author’s experiences that showed women with a kind and warm personality, lots of faith and prayer looked better and more beautiful, more inviting.
  • People are about just as happy as they make up their minds to be – Abraham Lincoln.
  • A clean engine always delivers power. A clean mind, like a clean engine, always delivers power.
  • A man is what he thinks about all day long.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Enough sleeping pills are sold each day to put 1/12th of Americans to sleep at night (and this is an outdated  figure, has probably gotten worse).