Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… (and its all small stuff.) - Richard Carlson
Dont SweatThe purpose of life isn’t to get it all done, but to enjoy each step on the journey’, says Richard Carlson as the core message of this simple but engaging book.

The title encourages us not to get drawn into living our lives constantly dealing with the small stuff. It’s referring to the way that things ‘of the moment’ gain an unwarranted importance which consumes our time, leaving us with scarcely the time to ask ourselves what is important, much less the time to pursue it.

The book is structured as 100 chapters, each of only one or two pages and each dealing with a simple strategy to retrieve our lives from the reactive state that we too easily find ourselves in.

The message of the book is don’t waste time on the small stuff and of course, however important we may believe our lives are, if we stand back far enough, everything becomes small stuff.

Several of the chapters are used to help the reader recognise this perspective. The approach to this illustrates the simplicity of the ideas presented. For example in the midst of an argument to become aware of your breathing and count to ten. To ask yourself whether the issue you are fighting for will be important to you in a year’s time. To reflect that with the passage of a period as brief as 100 years, none of us will still be around. Other chapters offer approaches that can help you change your approach and for example become more patient, considerate, thankful and help you gain control of your perspective on life.

The ideas are simple, but this is their strength. They reflect what we already know. Richard doesn’t set out to teach ideas, rather to gently remind us and encourage us to create a little space to adopt them in our all too reactive lives.

Steve Unwin
January 2007.