The Most Important Lessons I Have Learnt From Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff by the late Richard Carlson is a book which I first read several years ago, and I’ve just re-read it over the past few days, hungrily reabsorbing the valuable advice within.


I’ve devoured countless self-help books over the years, but none of them have had the same impact as Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.

In case you haven’t encountered this tome before (though that’s unlikely as it’s sold millions of copies) it’s a book of 100 short essays which show you how to stop allowing the little things, that often drive you crazy, from ruining your life.


Here are a few important lessons which stood out for me, and which I felt needed to be shared:

  • Make peace with imperfection
  • Let go of the idea that gentle, relaxed people can’t be superachievers
  • Be aware of the snowball effect of your thinking
  • Become more patient
  • Imagine yourself at your own funeral
  • Repeat to yourself ‘life isn’t an emergency’
  • Seek first to understand
  • Become a better listener
  • Choose your battles wisely
  • Become aware of your moods and don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the low ones
  • Write down your five most stubborn positions and see if you can soften them
  • Breathe before you speak
  • Do one thing at a time
  • Be flexible with changes in your plans
  • Practice ignoring your negative thoughts
  • Remember that you become what you practice most
  • Cut yourself some slack
  • Lighten up

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