26. WHERE NOW
During my sophomore year in high school, my English teacher required the class to read the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
This book made an indelible impression upon me. Benjamin Franklin concluded that there were 13 areas of his life that he needed to master. He set his goal to do so in a disciplined and scheduled way. He laid out a grid with the 13 "virtues" listed on the left-hand column and the weeks 1-13 across the top. Each week he would major on one "virtue," while also grading himself on how well or how poorly he was doing with the other 12.
With this system, he was able to cover all 13 "virtues" every three months. Toward the end of his life he said he had mastered each of the virtues except order and organization.
Using this book to change your life
A one-time read-through will not correct a lifelong habit pattern. If you're serious about winning over worry—turning a divided mind into a focused mind, learning how to manage stress—you must systematically, and with discipline, incorporate the book's principles into your daily life.
Winning over worry isn't a magic spell. Nor is it a quick fix. It is a skill you master by applying yourself consistently over a period of time.
Think how many times you fell before you mastered the skill of riding a bicycle. Reflect upon the numerous repetitions required in learning a second language. Consider the slow but steady progress that takes a musical novice to the point of becoming an accomplished pianist.
In just the same way you will need to repeat the behavior required for winning over worry until it no longer requires conscious attention, but becomes the expression of your subconscious.
You may find it helpful to use Benjamin Franklin's method of keeping score.
It may be that you have no problem in maintaining the habit of "rejoicing," but spend very little time "counting your blessings." You may feel that you have a much greater ability to help others than you have thus far demonstrated, and you may wish to take concrete steps with time-specific deadlines to master that. Whatever you major on, maximize the power of spaced repetition by putting up this book's PEACE FORMULA cards around your home and workplace.
I prepared my initial lecture on this subject 46 years ago. I wrote the book more than 40 years ago. To this day I refer to it as one would refer to a manual. I commend the material in this book not because I wrote it, but simply because it contains what I have learned through Scripture, observation, and personal experience—and because it has worked for me and thousands of others.
Where to get further help
On the last page of this book, you stand at the beginning of a journey. It is a journey that can take you out of needless anxiety and into the fullness of living. If you would like further help or advice, or access to other materials that can help you on your way, I hope you will feel free to contact me.
I personally can be reached at the following postal address: John Edmund Haggai, P.O. Box 921311, Norcross, Georgia 30010-7311, U.S.A.
Even better, visit www.hoivonline.com, where you will find a full range of resources like this book. All of them have been produced by top experts dedicated to helping you learn—and succeed—in life's essential skills. The subjects range from building relationships to mastering money. We aim to provide you with whatever you need to enhance your personal life and career, and do it at the lowest price. At the website, you will be able to download a complimentary PEACE FORMULA screensaver to help you on your way.
Peace be with you—and stay in touch!