Worry Kills – Orison Swett Marden

Cheerfulness As A Life Power – Published 1899

You know I believe we can learn so much from reading books that were published many, many years ago. Orison Swett Marden wrote several self-improvement books in the late 1800′s through the 1920′s. He is definitely one of the founding “grandfathers” of the modern self-development movement.

Enjoy an excerpt of his pearls of wisdom which still ring true over 100 years later: 

“Worry Kills”

How quickly we Americans exhaust life! With what panting haste we pursue everything! Every man you meet seems to be late for an appointment. Hurry is stamped in the wrinkles of the national face. We are men of action; we go faster and faster as the years go by, speeding our machinery to the utmost. Bent forms, prematurely gray hair, restlessness and discontent, are characteristic of our age and people. We earn our bread, but cannot digest it; and our over-stimulated nerves soon become irritated, and touchiness follows,—so fatal to a business man, and so annoying in society.

“It is not work that kills men,” says Beecher; “it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more on a man than he can bear. But worry is rust upon the blade. It is not movement that destroys the machinery, but friction.” 

It is not so much the great sorrows, the great burdens, the great hardships, the great calamities, that cloud over the sunshine of life, as the little petty vexations, insignificant anxieties and fear, the little daily dyings, which render our lives unhappy, and destroy our mental elasticity, without advancing our life-work one inch. “Anxiety never yet bridged any chasm.” 

“What,” asks Dr. George W. Jacoby, in an “Evening Post” interview, “is the ultimate physical effect of worry? Why, the same as that of a fatal bullet-wound or sword-thrust. Worry kills as surely, though not so quickly, as ever gun or dagger did, and more people have died in the last century from sheer worry than have been killed in battle.” 

Dr. Jacoby is one of the foremost of American brain doctors. “The investigations of the neurologists,” he says, “have laid bare no secret of Nature in recent years more startling and interesting than the discovery that worry kills.” 

“No mental attitude is more disastrous to personal achievement, personal happiness, and personal usefulness in the world, than worry and its twin brother, despondency. Relaxation is the certain foe of worry, and ‘don’t fret’ one of the healthiest of maxims.” 

Some people waste a large percentage of their energy in fretting and stewing, in useless anxiety, in scolding, in complaining about the weather and the perversity of inanimate things. Others convert nearly all of their energy into power and moral sunshine.

He who has learned the true art of living will not waste his energies in friction, which accomplishes nothing, but merely grinds out the machinery of life.


Copyright ©2011 Sharon Michaels – All Rights Reserved

I’m Sharon Michaels and my business is dedicated to empowering and coaching women in business. I show women entrepreneurs how to build a financially successful business by empowering themselves and enhancing their business-building skills.

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