Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

By Richard Carlson

We all have shit of which we need to let go. As I sit here today I’m obsessing over a US Senate candidate who won his primary last night. If you go to his website today you’ll see our work. We were his digital team and we were absolutely crushing it. Then we got canned when the candidate hired a new consultant who recently purchased himself a shiny little digital agency. We did everything right. Our work was solid. We worked around the clock. Hell, we got fired the day after working through a holiday weekend. It didn’t matter. That’s business. And politics. Still it burns.

But what can I do about it? I cannot reverse time. I cannot fix the nature of business or politics. I can sit here stewing. I can get anxious and angry. I can waste my energy and as Carlson writes “completely lose touch with the magic and beauty of life.”

Or I can get over it, learn and adapt. In the end, this isn’t a big deal. I have plenty more clients and our team is absolutely crushing everything it touches this year. We are about to have the best year in our ten year history. That’s what I should be focused on. In fact, that IS what I am focused on starting right now.

Carlson asks “will this matter a year from now?” The answer is absolutely not. So why the hell should I even care? I don’t.

This is a great book to get your mind right, especially during this insane year of anxiety. It’s broken down into 100 short chapters, typically about two pages, that is easily digestible. I decided to read two chapters per day so that I can meditate on them, much like a devotional. Just some of my favorite lessons:

  • Make peace with imperfection.
  • Be aware of the snowball effect of your thinking.
  • Create ‘Patience Practice Periods.’
  • Allow yourself to be bored.
  • Imagine yourself at your own funeral.
  • Repeat to yourself, “life isn’t an emergency.”
  • Set aside quiet time, every day.
  • Become a better listener.
  • Choose your battles wisely.
  • Breathe before you speak.
  • Just for fun, agree with criticism directed toward you.
  • Think of what you have rather than what you want.
  • The next time you find yourself in an argument, rather than defend your position, see if you can see the other point of view first.
  • And my favorite – Ask yourself if this will matter a year from now?

Carlson wrote a short book that can change many lives. I recommend this one to everyone, especially those feeling down during the 2020 shitstorm.

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