Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)'s Reviews > Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff by Richard Carlson
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Dec 30, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: how-to-self-help, owned-copy
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) by: Myself since I could use the help
Recommended for: Everyone
Read in December, 2009 , read count: 1

I am not much of a self-help reader (occasionally I will read a Christian living/theology book but that's really it), but I recommend this book to everyone. There are some real pearls of wisdom therein (if you will pardon the cliche'). I definitely believe some of these strategies are intuitive, that you probably utilize some as survival mechanisms in your daily routine, just to get through the day and dealing with others. But it never hurts to get a gentle reminder. My recommendation is to keep this book at work in your drawer, or in your tote bag. Pull it out when you need a few minutes to recharge your juices. You will find yourself putting some of these tips to use right away. As a shy, conflict-avoiding person who went into a field where I have to deal with people (often difficult and often stressed and not always pleasant) everyday, I think anyone who has to be around and communicate with others heavily can use these skills in this book.

What I really like about this book is how easy it is to read. Although Dr. Carlson is a PhD, he doesn't write in such a way to sound more scholarly and less down to earth. And this book is fairly inexpensive. I got it for $9 at Barnes and Noble. I'm sure you can find it even cheaper if you tried. I believe his goal really is to help. He uses a friendly, conversation writing style that is very down to earth and concise (He sorts of reminds me of Christian writer Max Lucado in that sense). Each chapter is no more than three pages at the most, but so much good information is included, plus personal examples of how the strategy was used by the author. Nothing like seeing that the writer struggles in the same ways as the rest of us.

Update One:This week, I had one of those Mondays you really don't want to have. I pulled this book out of my tote and started reading it. It helped me to feel better because it really does put things into perspective. We make big deals out of stuff that we really shouldn't. We make our lives into soap operas when they don't have to be. Why? It's such a waste of energy that we could be using to fuel our daily lives in better, more productive ways. With a fringe benefit of leaving us plenty of energy to be content and enjoy our lives. Dr. Carlson really gets to the heart of that in this book.

At the time of update one, I was still reading this book. I started this review before I finished the book, in order to get some of my thoughts down (before they fly out of my head).

Some lessons from this book that I applied to my life this week:

-Don't sweat the small stuff (the titular lesson--which bears repeating as a daily mantra)
-Develop your compassion
-Remind yourself that when you die, your 'in basket' won't be empty
-Choose your battles wisely
-Become a better listener
-Choose being kind over being right
-Practice humility

Final update:

What a rewarding reading experience. This is the one self-help book you really should read. It doesn't matter if you're religious, atheist, whatever. You can gain some wonderful insight from this book. At the final reading, I could see how the advice in this book would have helped me in a challenge I faced a day or so before. It still helps on the other end, giving me the insight to look at things from a more healthy viewpoint. Stress kills, and I have come to the realization that I don't want to die from stress-related health problems, which I could be on the fast track to doing if I don't change my outlook.
This book helped me today. I had to deal with a person that I did not have a good experience with the first time around. The advice this book gave me about listening to someone and what that person is truly saying, and trying not to interrupt, and trying to see the 'innocence' in them, well it was simply invaluable. I promise, I am not the type to hype self-help books! But I can't help but praise this one.
Some of the powerful things I read about today:

-Turn Your Melodrama into a Mellow-drama
-Practice Ignoring Your Negative Thoughts
-Be Happy Where You Are
-Quiet the Mind
-Think of Your Problem as Potential Teachers
-Get Comfortable Not Knowing
-Acknowledge the Totality of Your Being
-Cut Yourself Some Slack
-Stop Blaming Others
-Transform Your Relationship to Your Problems
-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
-Listen to Your Feelings (They Are Trying to Tell You Something)
-Redefine a "Meaningful Accomplishment"
-If Someone Throws You the Ball, You Don't Have to Catch It
-One More Passing Show
-Realize the Power of Your Own Thoughts
and a very good lesson for me.... Trust Your Instinctive Heart!

I am so glad I bought this book. It will not be one that I shove to the back of my bookshelf, to pull out rarely, if ever. It's going to be one that I carry around with me as I walk through life. It won't replace the Bible for me. It's not that kind of book. But whatever your belief is, it never hurts to put things into perspective. And that is the simple message of this book. You can learn to realize that the small stuff isn't worth all the drama, and in the sum of things it's all small stuff, as the title says.
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Quotes Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Liked

Richard Carlson
“Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff.”
Richard Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... and it's all small stuff

Richard Carlson
“Something wonderful begins to happen with the simple realization that life, like an automobile, is driven from the inside out, not the other way around. As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It's absolutely true that, "Wherever you go, there you are.”
Richard Carlson, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life

Reading Progress

07/17 page 31
12.5% "This book's already paid for itself."
07/18 page 73
29.44% "Pearls of wisdom and things I am surprised that I am already using as strategies to deal with stress."
12/09 page 105
42.34% "Great book!"
03/07 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-28 of 28) (28 new)

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message 1: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Remind yourself that when you die, your 'in basket' won't be empty

Love that one! I'm going to put it on a sticky note and hang it on my desk. :P

Great review D!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Tammy. That one helps me regularly. I'm so Type A about getting stuff done.

message 3: by Rane (new)

Rane Awesome Review Danielle!

message 4: by Adrienne (last edited Dec 10, 2009 12:16AM) (new)

Adrienne Fab review Danielle, plus you've remided me this is in a box somewhere in my garage. A good selfhelp book is a useful tool and this is one of them.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks Rane and Adrienne. This book is a very useful tool. You're so right, Adrienne.

message 6: by Ally72 (new)

Ally72 This was a great review Danielle and a book I really need to read. I am glad you liked it too!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Ally. If you buy one self-help book, buy this one.

message 8: by Ally72 (new)

Ally72 Thanks...I think I probably could have used it this week. I am so glad that tomorrow is finally FRIDAY!!!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Totally feeling you on that. I might not have to work Saturday! Yeah!

message 10: by new_user (new)

new_user Yeah! Freedom! LOL.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Seriously! Although I have to play catch up on chores I can't get done during the week, like a lot of laundry!

message 12: by Auntee (new)

Auntee Great review, Danielle, and a motto we should all live by.:)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Auntee. I was reminded myself of some of the precepts in this book today when there were some things at work 'working' on my nerves. LOL.

message 14: by Verity (new) - added it

Verity D, just reading your thoughtful review makes me feel so much better already, after working over 12 hrs today hahahaaaa... I can't remember the last time I read a self-help book 'cuz I'm a lost cause =)~ I luv that "Don't sweat the small stuff" mantra, gotta chant it to myself when overstressed, 'cuz I'm in an analytical field & sweating the small stuff is what they're paying me for, underpaid & overworked that I may be heheheee... Thank gawd it's my last day of work. Got 2 weeks of R & R 'till Xmas wooohooo.... I wonder if I can read more books between babysitting.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I am so happy you have two weeks off, V. I hope you can get a lot of reading done. Your schedule sounds like mine and similar job conditions. Big fat hug! I think this book would really be a help to you. It has helped me out so much. I'm looking forward to your reviews over the next couple of weeks. :)

message 16: by Angelc (new)

Angelc Great review, Danielle! I hope things are going better for you! I think I need to read this book, too!!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Thanks, Angelc. Day by day. I'm focusing on changing how I react to things, instead of expecting everything to work out, because it won't. LOL.

message 18: by Angelc (new)

Angelc I hope all this reading is helping!!!

Bark's Book Nonsense I've seen this book numerous times and never had the urge to pick it up. Now I need it. I am a shy, conflict avoiding person who stresses easily. I deal with difficult situations and people far too often for my liking and often want to buy a shack and hide out in the woods. I think this book is probably a better option for me :)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Oh my goodness. You sound like my twin! I'm the same way! You definitely should read this book, Barkless!

message 22: by Zetta (new) - added it

Zetta Thanks, Danielle. This sounds like a book I can use because I'm determined to be less stressed in 2010. There was a time when I was interested in getting this book but that waned. Your review has piqued my interest again.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) You're so welcome, Zetta. I hope you find it as helpful as I did.

message 24: by Richard's (new) - added it

Richard's Yea his books are amazing, but sadly he's dead. Ok now where do I go to read the book

message 25: by Marife (new) - added it

Marife I can't wait to own this book!! A friend of mine told me I should look on to it and learn how to start appreciating myself and don't sweat tire stuff:)

message 26: by Marife (new) - added it

Marife Little stuff lol.

message 27: by Nenen (new) - added it

Nenen I rarely comment just felt i needed to thank you for this review. Heading to the bookstores right now.

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