After six years of scrimping, with three children now totake care of, Mrs. D. found that thoughts of money seemedto color her whole life. The slightest financial setbackwas enough to make her lie awake contemplating their badluck.These incidents were trivial, as Mrs. D. would be the firstto admit, but each one seemed the last straw. A librarybook fell in a mud puddle and she had to pay for it; thatnight she lay awake translating the money she had paid forthe book into shoes and food for the children. A glove gotlost, a storekeeper overcharged her a nickel, the gas billarrived; these were enough to send her into sloughs ofdespondency resulting in sleepless nights.SOLUTIONWorrying over money has probably kept more people awakethan any other single cause. People who have money worryover losing it; people who have no money worry aboutacquiring it.The millionaire who loses half his fortune probably suffersas acutely as the father of six children who loses his job.Perhaps he suffers more. During the stock market crash, itwas the millionaires who jumped from tall office buildingswhen they were wiped out. Yet, bankrupt though they were,they were no poorer than the average working man withoutsavings who laughs at the idea of suicide.The whole idea of wealth is relative. It is an old adagethat no matter how badly off you are, there are people whoaspire to your position. Millions of people in Europe andAsia would trade places with the poorest American citizen.I told this to Mrs. D., and pointed out that in India,where they gather the starved dead from the streets as aroutine task each morning, there would be riots for theprivilege of getting the contents of her garbage can. Itold her also that a Hungarian woman might envy Mrs. D. herpeace of mind at not having to worry about her husband'sbeing removed some night by the secret police.Being poor, even in America, is a serious thing, and weshould all make strenuous and intelligent efforts to gainsecurity. But worrying will only impair those efforts andsleeplessness will make success far more difficult toachieve.When I explained these truths to Mrs. D., she was moreangry than impressed. "Look, I know there are people worseoff than I am," she said, "but that doesn't put food on mytable or put me to sleep at night. Should I go around allday singing because I don't have enough money?" she addedbelligerently.In a sense, I answered her, that is exactly what she shoulddo. Go around singing! Why not? Going around sorrowing wasonly driving her toward a nervous breakdown.But before Mrs. D. could go around singing she had to betaught the habit of positive thinking. To do this I had hermake a list of the assets and liabilities of her life. Theassets were as follows: Her children were normal andhealthy. Her husband was healthy. She was healthy. Herhusband loved her. Her husband was well liked. She was wellliked. She had many friends. Her children were smart inschool. Her husband was still a young man.Against these assets was the liability of being poor. Beingpoor was their only liability. If they had money, Mrs. D.said\u0097and it wouldn't take much\u0097everything would be fine.Being poor worried Mrs. D. and caused her sleepless nightsbecause, as she wrote down: They weren't getting ahead\u0097thatis, saving money. It looked as if they would always bepoor. They had no money should an emergency occur. They hadno money set aside for the children's college education.None of them had had new clothes for a long time. She wastired of scrimping and counting every penny. She couldn'tentertain her friends properly. They might lose thebusiness. They might not have enough to pay the bills nextmonth. Most of Mrs. D's worry over money resulted not froma lack of money to meet their immediate needs, but fromfear of not being able to meet their needs in the future.Many of these fears might never be realized. Yet if Mrs. D.allowed her thinking to make her a fear-ridden neuroticabout money and an anchor instead of an inspiration to herhusband, all these fears might be realized, for defeatismlike Mrs. D's is contagious.I instructed Mrs. D. to think of her assets instead of hermoney worries. While she was baking a cake, she was to stopthinking, "We'll never have money for the children'scollege education," and instead think, "I am fortunate tohave such healthy children," or, "I am fortunate to havesuch a fine husband."This is conditioned thinking, and until you acquire theunconscious habit of thinking this way, you have to do itconsciously. There is no other cure for worry. Worry, likeany other habit, can be cured only by having another habitsubstituted for it: the habit of positive thinking.In addition to instructing Mrs. D. to acquire deliberatelythe habit of positive thinking, I got her to learn the ABCRound Robin and the Sleep Exercise. I taught her to takeadvantage of lapses in the day's activities to enjoyfifteen or twenty minutes of relaxing sleep.She turned out to be an apt pupil once she saw that therewas no desirable alternative to the course I presented toher. To her amazement she found that when she forcedherself to think of the good things of her life, she feltelated. Mrs. D. no longer spends hours worrying over moneywhen she should be sleeping. As a result, she is betterequipped to help her husband make the decisions necessaryto earn more money.SUMMARYTo sleep when you have money worries:1.Don't count sheep; count your blessings. Itemize on asheet of paper all the good things there are in your life.If you are so down in the dumps that you can't think ofany, begin by thinking of a neighbor with whom you wouldn'ttrade places. For instance, Mrs. R., who is well-to-do, butwhose child is not normal. Or Mr. Z., who has a naggingwife. Or Mrs. Y., whose husband drinks. Then put down as ablessing, "My child is normal and healthy," or "I have anunderstanding wife," or "My husband doesn't drink."2.Set aside definite periods for discussions of finances.Give yourself all the time you need to consider a givenprob- lem adequately, but do not allow yourself to thinkabout money at any other time. When you catch yourselfthinking negatively about money, force yourself to thinkabout how well-off you are, by repeating your list ofassets. Do this faith fully; it is bound to make you feelbetter.3.Learn the ABC Round Robin. Use it to make yourself relaxwhenever you have a few spare minutes during the day. Ifyou are optimistic and relaxed during the day, you willautomatically sleep better at night.4.Learn the Sleep Exercise and use it after the Robin atnight to put yourself to sleep. Just as you are about todrop off to sleep, repeat some of your blessings. You willbe amazed at how much happier you will be when you wake up.5.Remember: Although poverty is unpleasant, and Ingredient feeder al thoughno normal person wants to be poor, you must thinkconstructively, instead of bemoaning your poverty.Cultivate an optimistic frame of mind and you have gone along way toward improving your condition.