Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Men: Simple Ways to Minimize Stress in a Competitive World

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Men: Simple Ways to Minimize Stress in a Competitive World

by Richard Carlson

Paperback(1 ED)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786886364
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 09/05/2001
Series: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (Hyperion)
Edition description: 1 ED
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 264,719
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Richard Carlson, Ph.D., was an internationally known speaker and the #1 bestselling author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff About Money, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff with Your Family, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, and coauthor (with his wife Kristine) of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff in Love.


Northern California

Place of Birth:

Northern California


San Jose State University, Pepperdine University; Ph.D., Sierra University

Read an Excerpt

1. Have an Affair

I thought the title of this strategy would grab your attention and would be a great place to begin this book!

Okay, not that kind of affair!

The kind of affair I'm talking about is a love affair with life. If there's one thing I've noticed that seems to be lacking in many men, it's a passion for life. It seems that many of us have lost that sense of wonder and awe for the incredible gift of life itself. We've become lost in the multitude of responsibilities, ambitions, drive, and commitments. We've become very serious and heavyhearted. Many of us have lost our sense of humor and our perspective. We've lost our compassion, as well. Instead of marveling at it all, we take life for granted. We become stuck in the mundane and succumb to boredom. It's as if we're doing nothing more than putting in time and going through the motions.

Life is slowly passing us by. Without a genuine sense of enthusiasm, a zest for life and a lighthearted spirit, we take our problems and obstacles too seriously. We become uptight and a drag to be around. More than anything else, we start sweating the small stuff. Life starts to bother us instead of amusing us. People are seen as burdens instead of as gifts. Challenges are dreaded instead of seen as opportunities.

The solution to all of this is to have an affair with life. The idea is to reignite your passion for living, and to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Remind yourself how precious and how short this adventure really is. I read a great book called A Parenthesis in Eternity. What a great way to think about the duration of your life — as a blip on a passing screen. We're here for a moment in time — and then we're gone. Why waste one second on self-pity, frustration, irritation, and all the rest? Our lives are so much more important than that.

It's shocking what happens to the quality of your life when you put it into this perspective. All of a sudden, the things that seemed so big seem small. And the things that seemed so small — and the things we postpone and take for granted — seem so big! We see that, for the most part, we usually prioritize in reverse order. But we can change all that in a moment. We can make a shift right now.

The things that we so often attach importance to are important, but it's a question of degree. Success, perfection, achievement, money, recognition — you can have them all, but they're not everything. In fact, without a passion and appreciation for life, they don't amount to much.

I was talking to a group of men about this subject. A few days later, I received a call from one of them that sums up the essence of this strategy. He said that while we were talking, he had thought that my "intentions" were good, but that I didn't really understand how serious and important his "role" was to everyone.

As fate would have it, while driving home that evening, his life changed in a single moment. He was nearly clipped by a huge truck on the freeway. He wasn't hurt, but it was a very close call. The near miss brought forth the insight that he hadn't spent virtually any time with any of his three children in several years, and that they were growing up very quickly. For the first time in years, tears came down his face as he realized that he was missing the point of life — as well as his chance to live it. When he arrived at home, he sat down with his family and told them that he was going to be making some changes in his life, beginning with appreciating his family. He had had a major change of heart.

Although this type of realization often has to do with family, it's not just about family. It's even larger than that. Recognizing the miracle of life — and having an affair with it — means that you being to attach great value to the moments of everyday life. The people you live and work with — and, for that matter, go grocery shopping with — all take on far more importance. Nature appears more beautiful, life is more precious, "things" and conveniences are more appreciated. You become, not less effective, but less demanding on others and on yourself, because you better understand the relative importance and significance of the events around you. Things won't get to you so much, and you won't be sweating the small stuff — at least, not as often!

An affair with life is real, and it can happen to anyone at any time. All it takes is the commitment to reflect upon the miracle of life itself and to remember, each day, how lucky we are to be alive. Think about what it means to wake up in the morning and have "another day to live". Some day, that won't be the case. In the meantime, live each day like it really matters — because it does.

One final note on this subject. Needless to say, an affair with life will never get you into any trouble with your wife or girlfriend. On the contrary, they will appreciate your change of heart as much as you do. So have fun.

Copyright © 2001 Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

Table of Contents

1.Have an Affair5
2.Make the "Peaceful Assumption"8
3.Spend More Time with Your Kids11
4.Take Your Wife's Advice14
5.Avoid the "S" Word16
6.Don't Know the Answer19
7.Have a Special Cause22
8.Be Able to Laugh at Yourself25
9.Don't Let Your Competitive Nature Get the Best of You28
10.Learn About Life from Golf30
11.Grant Yourself One Hour32
12.Don't Jump Ship35
13.See It as a Test38
14.Flash Forward for Instant Perspective40
15.See Stress as Nonsexy42
16.Share Your Dreams44
17.Be a Part of the Solution47
18.Give 'Em a Break50
19.Keep Your Perspective53
20.Spend Time with Your Buddies55
21.Practice Mindfulness58
22.Look at What the Cat Dragged In61
23.Do at Least One Really Nice, Small Thing for Someone, at Least Once a Week63
24.Avoid "As If" Assumptions66
25.Be Careful of the Comparison Trap70
26.Take Up Yoga73
27.Schedule Time for Yourself75
28.Get Out of the Serious Mode78
29.Think "Maybe So, Maybe Not"81
30.Don't Let the "Turkeys" Get You Down84
31.Rid Yourself of a Busy Mind87
32.Create an "Easier Life" List90
33.Keep in Mind that the Fantasy Is Often Better than the Reality93
34.Read Your Audience96
35.Have Conflict Without It Having You99
36.Take the Quirks with the Perks102
37.Find a Place to Park105
38.Avoid the Pursuit Trap108
39.Think C-A-L-M111
40.Eliminate Entitlement Thinking113
41.Learn from Fellow "Sweat"-ers116
42.Be For Something Rather than Against It118
43.Blow Off Steam121
44.Avoid the Excuse, "That's the Nature of the Business"124
45.Be Aware of the "Taken Away" Trap126
46.Have a Beginner's Mind129
47.Don't Do It Yourself132
48.Engage in Less Picking and Choosing134
49.Keep in Mind that No Decision Is a Decision136
50.Memorize the Words, "There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather--Only Different Kinds of Good Weather"138
51.Try the "Pause and Come Back to It" Technique141
52.Remember that Sometimes Less Effort Is Better144
53.Ease Up Behind the Wheel146
54.Quiet Down148
55.Have a Spare Set151
56.Anticipate the Best154
57.Be Sure You're Mad at What You Think You Are156
58.Experience the Power of Being Present159
59.Identify Your Stress Signals163
60.Become More Accepting of Change166
61.Reflect on the Power of Prevention169
62.Redefine the Word "Emergency"171
63.Develop Some Nonnegotiables174
64.Avoid Overidentifying with Your Role177
66.Have a Change of Heart181
67.Honor the Humility Factor184
68.Acknowledge Your Inner Intelligence186
69.Use Hindsight to Create Foresight188
71.Calculate the Number of Things that Went Right Today193
73.Let Go of the Past200
74.Anticipate Defensiveness202
75.Think "Yeah, So?"205
76.Try Not to Be Frustrated When It Might Be More Appropriate to Be Grateful207
77.Consider that "Needing a Vacation" May Not Be the Real Problem210
78.Avoid the "Caught Up" Trap212
79.See the Irony of "Striving" for Balance215
80.Check Your Blind Spots218
81.Open Your Heart to Compassion220
82.Live by the Motto, "It Is as It Is"222
83.Don't Miss the Fun!225
84.See Things from a Distance227
85.Prevent Little Things from Becoming Front-Page News230
86.Use Compliments as a Stress-Reducing Tool232
87.Keep in Mind that Practice Doesn't Make Perfect--Perfect Practice Makes Perfect234
88.Be More Generous237
89.Let Others Be Right About the Little Things240
90.Apply the "One-Year" Standard243
91.Extend Compassion to Your Daily Life245
92.Stop Broadcasting Your Thoughts247
93.Practice the Rule of Two250
94.Become a Health Nut253
95.Have a Favorite Cause256
96.Respect the Law of Diminishing Returns259
97.Be a Quitter262
98.Remind Yourself--One More Time--of the Mood Factor265
99.Ask the Question, "If Not Now, When?"267
100.Deepen Your Perspective269

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