Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

In Working for Peanuts: The Project Linus Story, I wrote about how someone once gifted me the book: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s all Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. It was a beautifully appropriate present as I was finding I was allowing myself to get bogged down by the daily grind of running the nationally reknowed children’s charity Project Linus. Once I realized that most of the tedium of daily routine was small stuff, it was like a boulder was lifted from my shoulders. I was able to relax and be more productive.

It’s those little things in life that can drag one down to the point of uselessness. “What did she mean by that?” , “I’ll never get through all my emails”, “Why did that person take the parking space that I was waiting for?” That kind of thinking lays fertile ground for unhappiness. The following may sound brutally honest, however it is true none-the less- chances are, the other person wasn’t thinking about you at all. They were just getting on with their own hectic day and you happened to find yourself in the crosshairs. There was no ill-intent meant.

In my life’s experiences, I’ve even witnessed people who purposely put themselves into this position. It’s as if they wanted to become a target so they would have something to talk about. Perhaps it makes them feel important.

Whenever you find yourself in a stressful situation, ask yourself: Will this matter one year from now? This is a great tool to pull yourself out of the heart of an emotional matter and bring it back into perspective.

Alyssa Goodman, a professor of astronomy at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is quoted as saying,The thing that’s grand about spending your time thinking about the universe is that it makes you feel insignificant. I don’t mean that in a bad way. If you understand that we’ve now discovered entire solar systems that contain planets similar to Earth, and that those are just the ones we know about, since most of the stars we’ve looked at are within about 300 light-years of Earth and the distance to the center of our galaxy is nearly 100 times that—then you realize that the laundry you’ve left undone and the dumb thing you said yesterday are about as significant as slime mold. ”

So the next time you find yourself with an elevated blood pressure or unable to sleep because you feel you have been slighted or daily life is getting you bogged down, just remember two simple words- Slime Mold. If nothing else, it should bring a giggle to your heart. Remember, worrying will NEVER change the outcome.

Karen Loucks Rinedollar is the Founder & Denver Coordinator of Project Linus, Professional Speaker on The Linus Effect: Five Easy Steps to a More Fulfilling Life, and Author of Working for Peanuts: The Project Linus Story.