Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Happily, there is another way to relate to life—a softer, more graceful path that makes life seem easier and the people in it more compatible. This “other way” of living involves replacing old habits of “reaction” with new habits of perspective. These new habits enable us to have richer, more satisfying lives. (Location 157)

Tags: perspective, reaction

Note: replace reaction with perspective

two rules of harmony. #1) Don’t sweat the small stuff, and #2) It’s all small stuff. (Location 188)

Tags: worry, reaction

Note: .reaction .worry

The solution here is to catch yourself when you fall into your habit of insisting that things should be other than they are. Gently remind yourself that life is okay the way it is, right now. In the absence of your judgment, everything would be fine. (Location 213)

Tags: gratitude

Note: .gratitude appreciate life for the way it is

the purpose of life isn’t to get it all done but to enjoy each step along the way and live a life filled with love, it’s far easier for me to control my obsession with completing my list of things to do. Remember, when you die, there will still be unfinished business to take care of. And you know what? Someone else will do it for you! Don’t waste any more precious moments of your life regretting the inevitable. (Location 277)

Tags: purpose

Note: .purpose the purpose of life is to enjoy each step along the way

The next time someone tells you a story or shares an accomplishment with you, notice your tendency to say something about yourself in response. (Location 319)

John Lennon once said, “Life is what’s happening while we’re busy making other plans.” (Location 339)

Tags: life principles, planning

Note: .planning life happens whilst we make plans

Your job is to try to determine what the people in your life are trying to teach you. (Location 354)

Tags: learning

Note: .learning everyone can teach you something

“Do I want to be ‘right’—or do I want to be happy?” Many times, the two are mutually exclusive! Being right, defending our positions, takes an enormous amount of mental energy and often alienates us from the people in our lives. Needing to be right—or needing someone else to be wrong—encourages others to become defensive, and puts pressure on us to keep defending. Yet, many of us (me too, at times) spend a great deal of time and energy attempting to prove (or point out) that we are right—and/or others are wrong. Many people, consciously or unconsciously, believe that it’s somehow their job to show others how their positions, statements, and points of view are incorrect, and that in doing so, the person they are correcting is going to somehow appreciate it, or at least learn something. Wrong! (Location 366)

Tags: right

Note: .right You dont always have to prove you are right. Let it go.

Being listened to and heard is one of the greatest desires of the human heart. And those who learn to listen are the most loved and respected. Those who are in the habit of correcting others are often resented and avoided. (Location 375)

Tags: listen

Note: .listen

If you want to be a more peaceful person you must understand that being right is almost never more important than allowing yourself to be happy. The way to be happy is to let go, and reach out. Let other people be right. This doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. Everything will be fine. You’ll experience the peace of letting go, as well as the joy of letting others be right. (Location 439)

Tags: favorite

Note: Let other people be right

The fact that life isn’t fair doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything in our power to improve our own lives or the world as a whole. To the contrary, it suggests that we should. When we don’t recognize or admit that life isn’t fair, we tend to feel pity for others and for ourselves. Pity, of course, is a self-defeating emotion that does nothing for anyone, except to make everyone feel worse than they already do. When we do recognize that life isn’t fair, however, we feel compassion for others and for ourselves. And compassion is a heartfelt emotion that delivers loving-kindness to everyone it touches. (Location 471)

Tags: fairness

Note: .fairness life isnt fair, accept it

Much of our anxiety and inner struggle stems from our busy, overactive minds always needing something to entertain them, something to focus on, and always wondering “What’s next?” While we’re eating dinner we wonder what’s for dessert. While eating dessert, we ponder what we should do afterward. After that evening, it’s “What should we do this weekend?” After we’ve been out, we walk into the house and immediately turn on the television, pick up the phone, open a book, or start cleaning. It’s almost as though we’re frightened at the thought of not having something to do, even for a minute. The beauty of doing nothing is that it teaches you to clear your mind and relax. It allows your mind the freedom to “not know,” for a brief period of time. Just like your body, your mind needs an occasional break from its hectic routine. When you allow your mind to take a break, it comes back stronger, sharper, more focused and creative. (Location 492)

Tags: nothing

Note: .nothing give your mind the freedom to do nothing. Dont focus on whats next

This is an exercise that has helped to change many lives, assisting people in becoming more peaceful and loving. Taking a few minutes each week to write a heartfelt letter does many things for you. Picking up a pen or typing on a keyboard slows you down long enough to remember the beautiful people in your life. The act of sitting down to write helps to fill your life with gratitude. (Location 529)

Tags: writing

Note: .writing spend time to write a letter each week

Smile at Strangers, Look into Their Eyes, and Say Hello (Location 606)

Tags: smile

Note: .smile

I’ve been working in the stress management field for well over a decade. In that time I’ve met some extraordinary people. I can’t think of a single person whom I would consider to be inwardly peaceful who doesn’t carve out at least a little quiet time, virtually every day. Whether it’s ten minutes of meditation or yoga, spending a little time in nature, or locking the bathroom door and taking a ten-minute bath, quiet time to yourself is a vital part of life. Like spending time alone, it helps to balance the noise and confusion that infiltrate much of our day. (Location 625)

Tags: solitude

Note: .solitude this is similar to point made in digital minimalism. We need some quiet alone time each day

Imagine the People in Your Life as Tiny Infants and as One-Hundred-Year-Old Adults (Location 635)

Tags: perspective

Note: .perspective imagine those who irritate you as being close to death, your behaviour and interactions would change

Your own moods can be extremely deceptive. They can, and probably do, trick you into believing your life is far worse than it really is. When you’re in a good mood, life looks great. You have perspective, common sense, and wisdom. In good moods, things don’t feel so hard, problems seem less formidable and easier to solve. When you’re in a good mood, relationships seem to flow and communication is easy. If you are criticized, you take it in stride. (Location 709)

Tags: moods

Note: .moods dont let a bad mood effect the macro view of your life

Author Stephen Levine asks the question, “If you had an hour to live and could make only one phone call—who would you call, what would you say, and why are you waiting?” What a powerful message! (Location 843)

Tags: life

When in Doubt about Whose Turn It Is to Take Out the Trash, Go Ahead and Take It Out (Location 875)

When someone acts in a way that seems strange to you, rather than reacting in your usual way, such as, “I can’t believe they would do that,” instead say something to yourself like “I see, that must be the way she sees things in her world. Very interesting.” (Location 937)

Tags: perspective

Note: .perspective become interested in others, their views and how they see the world

So often we are immobilized by the slightest criticism. We treat it like an emergency, and defend ourselves as if we were in a battle. In truth, however, criticism is nothing more than an observation by another person about us, our actions, or the way we think about something, that doesn’t match the vision we have of ourselves. Big deal! When we react to criticism with a knee-jerk, defensive response, it hurts. We feel attacked, and we have a need to defend or to offer a countercriticism. We fill our minds with angry or hurtful thoughts directed at ourselves or at the person who is being critical. All this reaction takes an enormous amount of mental energy. (Location 1064)

Tags: criticism

Note: .criticism dont overeact to criticism, it is just an observation of behaviour

life is in a constant state of change. Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. Every tree begins with a seed and will eventually transform back into earth. Every rock is formed and every rock will vanish. In our modern world, this means that every car, every machine, every piece of clothing is created and all will wear out and crumble; it’s only a matter of when. Our bodies are born and they will die. A glass is created and will eventually break. There is peace to be found in this teaching. When you expect something to break, you’re not surprised or disappointed when it does. Instead of becoming immobilized when something is destroyed, you feel grateful for the time you have had. (Location 1099)

Tags: loss

Note: .loss everything has a beginning and an end. Prepare for loss.

Understand the Statement, “Wherever You Go, There You Are” This is the title of a super book by Jon Kabat-Zinn. As the title suggests, wherever you go, you take yourself with you! The significance of this statement is that it can teach you to stop constantly wishing you were somewhere else. We tend to believe that if we were somewhere else—on vacation, with another partner, in a different career, a different home, a different circumstance—somehow we would be happier and more content. We wouldn’t! The truth is, if you have destructive mental habits—if you get annoyed and bothered easily, if you feel angry and frustrated a great deal of the time, or if you’re constantly wishing things were different, these identical tendencies will follow you, wherever you go. And the reverse is also true. If you are a generally happy person who rarely gets annoyed and bothered, then you can move from place to place, from person to person, with very little negative impact. (Location 1112)

Turn Your Melodrama into a Mellow-Drama In a certain respect, this strategy is just another way of saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Many people live as if life were a melodrama—“an extravagantly theatrical play in which action and plot predominate.” Sound familiar? In dramatic fashion, we blow things out of proportion, and make a big deal out of little things. We forget that life isn’t as bad as we’re making it out to be. We also forget that when we’re blowing things out of proportion, we are the ones doing the blowing. I’ve found that simply reminding myself that life doesn’t have to be a soap opera is a powerful method of calming down. When I get too worked up or start taking myself too seriously (which happens more than I like to admit), I say to myself something like, “Here I go again. My soap opera is starting.” Almost always, this takes the edge off my seriousness and helps me laugh at myself. Often, this simple reminder enables me to change the channel to a more peaceful station. My melodrama is transformed into a “mellow-drama.” (Location 1217)

Tags: drama

Note: .drama life isnt a soap opera, dont blow it out of proportion

Be Happy Where You Are Sadly, many of us continually postpone our happiness—indefinitely. It’s not that we consciously set out to do so, but that we keep convincing ourselves, “Someday I’ll be happy.” We tell ourselves we’ll be happy when our bills are paid, when we get out of school, get our first job, a promotion. We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough—we’ll be more content when they are. After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. And on and on and on! (Location 1373)

Tags: happiness

Note: .happiness there is no better time to be happy than today

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. (Location 1383)

Tags: happiness

Note: .happiness happiness is the way. Similar to the obstacle is the way

When you do something nice for someone, just to do it, you’ll notice (if you’re quiet enough inside yourself) a beautiful feeling of ease and peace. Just as vigorous exercise releases endorphins in your brain that make you feel good physically, your acts of loving-kindness release the emotional equivalent. Your reward is the feeling you receive in knowing that you participated in an act of kindness. You don’t need something in return or even a “thank you.” In fact, you don’t even need to let the person know what you have done. (Location 1469)

Tags: gifts

Note: .gifts do nice things for others and dont expect anything in return

In terms of personal happiness, you cannot be peaceful while at the same time blaming others. Surely there are times when other people and/or circumstances contribute to our problems, but it is we who must rise to the occasion and take responsibility for our own happiness. Circumstances don’t make a person, they reveal him or her. (Location 1564)

Tags: happiness, responsibility

Note: .responsibility .happiness we must take responsibility for our own life and happiness

Mother Teresa once said, “We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do little things with great love.” Sometimes our grandiose plans to do great things at some later time interfere with our chances to do little things right now. (Location 1602)

A hundred years from now we will all be gone from this planet. And when kept in mind, this idea can fill us with needed perspective during times of perceived crisis or stress. (Location 1616)

Tags: aging, perspective

Note: .perspective .aging nobody on this planet will be around in 100 years.

Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Our limited perspective, our hopes and fears become our measure of life, and when circumstances don’t fit our ideas, they become our difficulties.” (Location 1637)

Tags: expectation

Note: We have an issue when our reality does not meet our expectation

The next step is to understand the link between your expectations and your frustration level. Whenever you expect something to be a certain way and it isn’t, you’re upset and you suffer. On the other hand, when you let go of your expectations, when you accept life as it is, you’re free. To hold on is to be serious and uptight. To let go is to lighten up. (Location 1642)

Tags: expectations

Note: .expectations happiness = reality - expectations

If Someone Throws You the Ball, You Don’t Have to Catch It My best friend, Benjamin Shield, taught me this valuable lesson. Often our inner struggles come from our tendency to jump on board someone else’s problem; someone throws you a concern and you assume you must catch it, and respond. For example, suppose you’re really busy when a friend calls in a frantic tone and says, “My mother is driving me crazy. What should I do?” Rather than saying, “I’m really sorry but I don’t know what to suggest,” you automatically catch the ball and try to solve the problem. Then later, you feel stressed or resentful that you are behind schedule and that everyone seems to be making demands on you. It’s easy to lose sight of your willing participation in the dramas of your own life. (Location 1744)

Tags: drama

Note: You dont have to get sucked into the drama and worries of others. Dont take on others probemm as your own

If you regularly take a minute to check in with yourself, to ask yourself, “What’s really important?” you may find that some of the choices you are making are in conflict with your own stated goals. This strategy can help you align your actions with your goals and encourage you to make more conscious, loving decisions. (Location 1851)

Tags: prioritise, focus

Note: .focus .prioritise take time to determine was is most important

Mind Your Own Business It’s tough enough trying to create a life of serenity when dealing with your own mental tendencies, issues, real-life problems, habits, and the contradictions and complexities of life. But when you feel compelled to deal with other people’s issues, your goal of becoming more peaceful becomes all but impossible. How often do you find yourself saying things like, “I wouldn’t do that if I were her,” or “I can’t believe he did that,” or “What is she thinking about?” How often are you frustrated, bothered, annoyed, or concerned about things that you not only cannot control or be of actual help with, but are also none of your business? (Location 1889)

Note: Dont get annoyed thinking about the actions of others