MAY 2012: DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF—AND IT’S ALL SMALL STUFF
When Richard Carlson passed away in December 2006, he left behind a legacy of 30 books that have helped millions learn not to let the small things in life get the best of them.
Carlson was considered one of the foremost experts on happiness and stress reduction, and his Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series made publishing history as USA Today’s #1 bestselling book for two consecutive years. The title spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and is considered one of the fastest selling books of all time.
To inspire and calm you, following are six excerpts from Richard Carlson’s 100 tips. Illustrations by Michael Gibbs
1. Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. “Sometimes, when you consider taking on a new venture—raising a child, writing a book, starting a new business, beginning a savings plan, or anything else—the task can seem overwhelming. It’s as though you’ll never be able to arrive at your final destination, as if the first step isn’t going to help. The trick to success sounds very simplistic, because it is very simple: Just begin. Take a single step, followed by another, and another. Don’t look too far out into the future, and don’t look too far back either. If you follow this simple plan, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish over time.”
2. Learn the magic of nonattachment. “Being attached to an outcome takes an enormous amount of energy—not only during an effort, but often after an effort is complete, after you’ve failed, or been let down, or were dealt a bad hand. Being nonattached, however, creates emotional freedom. It means holding on tightly but letting go lightly. It suggests trying hard, really caring, but at the same time being completely willing to let go of the outcome. It works like magic, allowing you to have fun in your efforts, and enjoy the process. Plus, it helps you succeed at whatever you are doing by giving you the confidence you need. You win regardless of the outcome. And, it helps you stay out of your own way.”
3. Become a stress-stopper. “There’s little doubt in the minds of most business people I’ve met that, overall, stress interferes with the quality of business. People who are too stressed are reactive and frightened, and tend to make more mistakes than those who are calm. If you want to maximize your chances for success and profit, when stress is present in your workplace or mind, you should do everything you can to prevent its spread. So when you get all riled up and bothered, keep what’s bothering you to yourself. Doing so can pay handsome rewards.”
4. Consider the possibility that if it sounds too good to be true, it might not be. “The suspicion, cynicism, and doubt that are inherent in this old adage can and do keep people from taking advantage of excellent opportunities. If you think it’s too good to be true, you’ll be very hesitant to take a careful look at it, and you’ll dismiss it as being superficial or too risky. What happens if you’re wrong? You’ll miss out. Being a nonworrier doesn’t guarantee success, but it sure makes it easier to spot opportunities when they come your way.
5. Learn about moods and money. “Moods are one of the unavoidable, mysterious parts of life that must be dealt with by everyone. Our understanding of moods greatly affects not only our wisdom and perspective, but our overall level of satisfaction. When we feel low, we think of our dissatisfactions more than when we feel good. The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low. The same dynamic applies to your creativity and ability to create abundance. When you are in a low mood, don’t make important business (or life) decisions. Don’t force it. Resist the temptation to worry about your moods. They are always changing, so simply realize that you are in a stuck place—and it’ll likely raise your spirits. Don’t worry! As your mood rises, your capacity to create will unfold.”
6. Pay yourself first. “On the surface, this is one of the least original ideas I have. Most financial professionals realize that it’s virtually impossible to accumulate great wealth without this type of discipline and wisdom. Despite its importance, however, a very small percentage of people actually implement this strategy. The major reason: worry. From this moment on, make a commitment to ignore all thoughts of worry and pay yourself—before anyone else. Write yourself a check, invest in yourself, and trust in yourself. You will then have enough for everything else.”
Don’t stop now! For more tips from Richard Carlson, click here.