• May 2012

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Richard Carlson’s “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff About Money” is a book that has been on my shelf since 2001, the year I made the leap from full-time journalist to entrepreneur.

Making any career change is nerve-wracking, at best, so the simple, sage advice provided in the pages of Carlson’s book made me feel better every time I picked it up.

When I launched Be Inkandescent magazine in January 2010, he was tops on my list to feature as an Entrepreneur of the Month. Needless to say, it came as a shock when I learned that Carlson had died of a pulmonary embolism on Dec. 13, 2006.

“He was on an airplane bound for New York when he fell asleep and died,” explained his wife, Kristine, when I interviewed her in April 2012. “I’ll never forget getting that call with the news. In the beginning, I thought I would be in deep grief forever. But now I know differently. Richard had such an extraordinary way of seeing the world, and an extraordinary way of expressing it. In some ways, he’s still here.”

Kristine admits it took time, and courage, but she is proud to release the first addition to the Don’t Sweat series since Richard’s death: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms. It hits bookstores this month in celebration of Mother’s Day. Because Richard’s goal was to help entrepreneurs, Kristine gave us permission to run the introduction to “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff About Money,” in our Tips column.

As you read on, consider these words of wisdom from Richard Carlson: “I’ve learned that there is often a fine line between success and failure. So often, the difference lies in overcoming worry. So, please, don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.”

Here’s to your sweat-free life!Hope Katz Gibbs
Publisher Be Inkandescent • Founder Inkandescent PR

Richard Carlson Suggests 6 Ways to Create A Life of Abundance—And Fun

MAY 2012: DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF—AND IT’S ALL SMALL STUFF

When Richard Carlson passed away in December 2006, he left behind a legacy of 30 books that have helped millions learn not to let the small things in life get the best of them.

Carlson was considered one of the foremost experts on happiness and stress reduction, and his Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series made publishing history as USA Today’s #1 bestselling book for two consecutive years. The title spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and is considered one of the fastest selling books of all time.

To inspire and calm you, following are six excerpts from Richard Carlson’s 100 tips. Illustrations by Michael Gibbs

1. Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. “Sometimes, when you consider taking on a new venture—raising a child, writing a book, starting a new business, beginning a savings plan, or anything else—the task can seem overwhelming. It’s as though you’ll never be able to arrive at your final destination, as if the first step isn’t going to help. The trick to success sounds very simplistic, because it is very simple: Just begin. Take a single step, followed by another, and another. Don’t look too far out into the future, and don’t look too far back either. If you follow this simple plan, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish over time.”

2. Learn the magic of nonattachment. “Being attached to an outcome takes an enormous amount of energy—not only during an effort, but often after an effort is complete, after you’ve failed, or been let down, or were dealt a bad hand. Being nonattached, however, creates emotional freedom. It means holding on tightly but letting go lightly. It suggests trying hard, really caring, but at the same time being completely willing to let go of the outcome. It works like magic, allowing you to have fun in your efforts, and enjoy the process. Plus, it helps you succeed at whatever you are doing by giving you the confidence you need. You win regardless of the outcome. And, it helps you stay out of your own way.”

3. Become a stress-stopper. “There’s little doubt in the minds of most business people I’ve met that, overall, stress interferes with the quality of business. People who are too stressed are reactive and frightened, and tend to make more mistakes than those who are calm. If you want to maximize your chances for success and profit, when stress is present in your workplace or mind, you should do everything you can to prevent its spread. So when you get all riled up and bothered, keep what’s bothering you to yourself. Doing so can pay handsome rewards.”

4. Consider the possibility that if it sounds too good to be true, it might not be. “The suspicion, cynicism, and doubt that are inherent in this old adage can and do keep people from taking advantage of excellent opportunities. If you think it’s too good to be true, you’ll be very hesitant to take a careful look at it, and you’ll dismiss it as being superficial or too risky. What happens if you’re wrong? You’ll miss out. Being a nonworrier doesn’t guarantee success, but it sure makes it easier to spot opportunities when they come your way.

5. Learn about moods and money. “Moods are one of the unavoidable, mysterious parts of life that must be dealt with by everyone. Our understanding of moods greatly affects not only our wisdom and perspective, but our overall level of satisfaction. When we feel low, we think of our dissatisfactions more than when we feel good. The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low. The same dynamic applies to your creativity and ability to create abundance. When you are in a low mood, don’t make important business (or life) decisions. Don’t force it. Resist the temptation to worry about your moods. They are always changing, so simply realize that you are in a stuck place—and it’ll likely raise your spirits. Don’t worry! As your mood rises, your capacity to create will unfold.”

6. Pay yourself first. “On the surface, this is one of the least original ideas I have. Most financial professionals realize that it’s virtually impossible to accumulate great wealth without this type of discipline and wisdom. Despite its importance, however, a very small percentage of people actually implement this strategy. The major reason: worry. From this moment on, make a commitment to ignore all thoughts of worry and pay yourself—before anyone else. Write yourself a check, invest in yourself, and trust in yourself. You will then have enough for everything else.”

Don’t stop now! For more tips from Richard Carlson, click here.

Hung Up About Money? "Don't Sweat It," Insists Richard Carlson

By Richard Carlson, Ph.D. (1961-2006)

Author of the bestselling, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” book series

From the introduction to his 2001 book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff About Money.

When the subject of money comes up, there’s often stress in the air. Money is necessary, of course, but it’s confusing to most of us.

Most people feel they have too little of it; a few people have too much. Money causes rifts between friends as well as family members. Money breaks up marriages and lifelong friendships. I’ve heard there are more arguments, fights, and disagreements about money than about any other subject in the world.

People become greedy about money, and they become stubborn. Rarely does this topic bring out the best in someone; often it brings out the worst. Many people are foolish and wasteful with their money. Others become very controlling and uptight. To further complicate matters, money is often associated with power and prestige. Therefore, many people attach their self-esteem to their net worth and, in doing so, ruin their chance to have happy and peaceful lives.

You’d think that when a person acquired a certain degree of wealth, they’d stop sweating about money, but usually the opposite occurs. Rather than feeling relief, they become even more obsessed. Now they are worried about keeping it, protecting it, caring for it, and so forth.

I’ve been with many poor people, a great number of rich people, and a vast number of people in-between. In all honesty, I’d have to say that 99 percent of them, regardless of their financial statures, sweat the small stuff about money.

Indeed, it’s a universal tendency. You can’t (and probably don’t want to) avoid the issues surrounding money, but you can learn to take them more in stride. And when you do, your entire life will become more relaxing and peaceful.

It’s quite possible to achieve great wealth and success in your life, yet remain unaffected by it. It’s possible to make wise and appropriate decisions about money without excessive worry or grief. That’s what this book is about: finding ways to create abundance and more fun without the stress that is usually associated with such intentions.

Learning how not to sweat the small stuff about money won’t take away all the monetary issues you have to deal with, but it sure will bring you more peace of mind. With added perspective, and perhaps a bit of humor, you’ll be able to tend to your money wisely—make great choices and see things clearly without having fiscal issues take over your life.

If you’ve read any of my Don’t Sweat books, you know that I believe strongly in the potential of people. I believe we have the potential for great joy, compassion, and wisdom. And part of this potential is manifested when we learn to stop sweating the small stuff.

When you stop sweating the small stuff about money, everyone benefits. You’ll feel better, and what’s more, you’ll probably make more money, too. To me, it’s pretty obvious that any success we enjoy is despite our worry, not because of it! Worry and excessive stress are distractions that keep us from our dreams and from our greatest potential. So as we discover ways to worry less, to “not sweat it,” we ignite that capacity within us.

Even as importantly, others benefit, too. As we worry less about money, we are more willing to do things for others. We are more generous and charitable. Rather than postponing the giving of our time, energy, ideas, or money because of fear, we learn to give freely, from the heart.

I’ve known many people who, after dropping some of their concerns about this issue, started donating money and volunteering their time for others. Without the emotional burdens of getting too uptight about money, you can use your energy in more constructive ways, doing the things that bring you the most joy.

The 100 strategies in Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff About Money were written to help you banish worry from your life forever.

Whether you want the confidence to pursue a new career or dream, the emotional freedom to ask others for help or for a raise, the ability to handle criticism or rejection, the confidence to take a risk, speak to a group, do more for your favorite charity, creatively and confidently market a service or product—or simply to become less uptight about money—consider these strategies. I am hopeful that they will help you create an even better life.

For more information about Carlson’s books, visit www.dontsweat.com.

Click here to buy the book.

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

The world I believed in, back in my most innocent, uninformed, childish mind—is real.”

– Martha Beck

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”

– Author, Activist Lee Woodruff

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

– John Lennon

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

My job is my hobby. I come to work to play.”

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.”

– Byron Katie

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
 what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

‎That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

Passion makes perfect.”

– Eugene Biro

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

– Henry David Thoreau

4oz tequila + 1oz TripleSec + 2oz lime juice + 1oz simple syrup (sugar=water), 1 cup crushed ice. Shake + dance around the kitchen.

– Avenida Margarita

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

– Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc.

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

My goal was to tell the life side of the story. We have become a nation of voyeurs that expect sensationalism, and that offends me.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?”

– Jim Butcher, White Night

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller

I always maintained that the greatest obstacle in life isn’t danger, it’s boredom. The battle against it is responsible for most of the events in the world — good or ill.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

– President Calvin Coolidge

I was taught at a very young age that you can do whatever you want to, but you have to make it happen — not just talk about it.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

‎The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

– Chinese Proverb

Look at everything as though you were
seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

– Betty Smith

I have spent a good part of my life convincing people that a blank sheet of paper is the greatest opportunity in the world, and not frightening at all.”

– Marty Skler, executive vp, Walt Disney Imagineering

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

– Bob Dylan

Your own words are the bricks and mortar
of the dreams you want to realize.
 The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.”

– Sonia Croquette

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.”

– The Dalai Lama

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

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