The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. ~Abraham Lincoln
Yesterday I started listening to Dale Carnegie’s How To Stop Worrying & Start Living. Carnegie, if you recall, was the author of that classic bestseller How To Win Friends & Influence People. If you have not read this latter, which actually preceded How To Stop Worrying, then you owe it to yourself to get a copy and make it a long term course for meditation. It’s rich with anecdotes and literally life-changing advice.
Carnegie himself was born in poverty but went to college to become a teacher. After this, that and a handful of other misdirections, he found a measure of footing as a lecturer, and wrote a few unsuccessful books before churning out How To Win Friends, which proved a bestseller right out of the gate. By the time he died, the book had sold millions of copies and had been translated into 31 languages.
The funny part of How To Stop Worrying for me is that I can’t help but associate the title with Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, a film that carries the comically menacing subtitle How to Stop Worrying & Love the Bomb. Nevertheless, Carnegie’s book is no sideshow.
The book is similar in style to How to Win Friends in the sense that it is a compilation of anecdotal stories, quotes from famous people and insights from research. An early chapter addresses the importance of living one day at a time, not allowing the past to wreck the present or anxieties about the the future to ruin today. He writes, “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon — instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”
I’m sure that most of us have at one time or another allowed worries about the future to stain our enjoyment of the present. And who has not wrestled with regrets about the past at one time or another. Regret was what trapped the father in the hall of mirrors in Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Whether it’s the past or future that sideswipes your enjoyment of the present, let it go.
“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Don’t let the past steal your present.” ~Cherralea Morgen
“There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday.” ~Robert Nathan
“No man is rich enough to buy back his past.” ~Oscar Wilde
“The past is a good place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” ~Author Unknown
“Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.” ~Euripides
Make it happen. Let’s live for today.
Originally published at pioneerproductions.blogspot.com
Rose photo courtesy John Heino Photography.