I’ve read this book (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff) by Richard Carlson a long time ago, but just recently have picked it back up in light of some events that have been occurring in my life.

When I first read this book years ago, I understood his concepts and theories about life and what it brings daily.  It was simple and straight forward.  But it has only been just over the past few years that I have REALLY started to understand it and actually apply it to my life.  Many of his “chapters” cover very basic and common sense items.  Things that you would think would be simple to do and apply, in reality are not.  It takes conscience effort and consistency to make it a part of your daily routine and life style.  Some examples that stand out in my mind are: (and are ones that truly hit home for me)

  • Develop your compassion
  • Don’t interrupt others or finish their sentences
  • Let others have the glory
  • Learn to live in the present moment
  • Let others be “right” most of the time
  • Be the first one to act loving or reach out
  • Ask yourself the question, “will this matter a year from now?”
  • Surrender to the fact that life isn’t fair
  • Imagine yourself at your own funeral
  • Seek first to understand
  • Choose your battles wisely
  • Choose being kind over being right
  • Think of what you have instead of what you want
  • Listen to your feelings (they are trying to tell you something)
  • Keep asking yourself “what is really important”
  • Live your day as if it were your last

When life’s drama unfolds itself upon me and I find myself becoming stressed, depressed or angered, I try to reflect on this list and apply them to my life.  I may not always be successful, but I am making a conscience effort to make things better.  And in the long run, I find myself becoming a better person and a less stressed one at that!

As I watch and observe the actions of individuals as they face adversity, I often want to yell out to them one of the items on this list.  If only they understood what these small words mean and the power that it can bring to oneself!  The peace and serenity one would feel cannot be expressed and only lived.  I am not saying that I am a perfect person or that I don’t fall back on my old ways, but I can say that I am making a conscience effort to make changes in my life.

People need to understand that there are consequences to their actions and that they need to take accountability for those actions.  Life is too short to be arguing over petty things that one does not have any control of, or trying to change things that they cannot.  Once you have a good understanding of what this means, you will find that your life becomes a lot less stressful and that you have internal peace.

I hope people take time to read this simple, but powerful book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff”.  It’s helped me in my life and I hope that it will help someone in theirs.