Richard Carlson quotes page 1
1961 - 2006, American author and motivational speaker, author of Don't sweat the small stuff... and it's
all small stuff
As we learn in the Zen philosophy, when you learn to "let go" of problems instead of
resisting with all your might, your life will begin to flow.
If we would just slow down, happiness would catch up to us.
One of the mistakes many of us make is that we feel sorry for ourselves, or for others,
thinking that life should be fair, or that someday it will be. It's not and it won't.
Circumstances don't make a person, they reveal him or her.
Each time you notice yourself falling into the "I wish life were different" trap, back off and
start over. Take a breath and remember all that you have to be grateful for.
The sooner we accept the inevitable dilemma of not being able to win the approval of
everyone we meet, the easier our lives will become.
People who live the most fulfilling lives are the ones who are always rejoicing at what they
The ego is that part of us that wants to be seen, heard, respected, considered special, often
at the expense of someone else. It's the part of us that interrupts someone else's story, or
impatiently waits his turn to speak so that he can bring the conversation and attention back
The more patient you are, the more accepting you will be of what is, rather than insisting
that life be exactly as you would like it to be. Without patience, life is extremely frustrating.
Let go of the idea that gentle, relaxed people can't be superachievers.
Do something nice for someone else - and don't tell anyone about it... you always feel good
when you give to others. Rather than diluting the positive feelings by telling others about
your own kindness, by keeping it to yourself you get to retain all the positive feelings.
If someone throws you the ball, you don't have to catch it.
Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary... we see in life what we want to see. If you search
for ugliness you'll find plenty of it. If you want to find fault with other people, your career, or
the world in general, you'll certainly be able to do so. But the opposite is also true. If you look
for the extraordinary in the ordinary, you can train yourself to see it.
Relax... most of us postpone relaxation until our "in basket" is empty. Of course it never is.
Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.
When we are immobilized by little things - when we are irritated, annoyed, and easily
bothered - our (over-) reactions not only make us frustrated but actually get in the way of
getting what we want.
One of the cardinal rules of joyful living is that judging others takes a great deal of energy
and, without exception, pulls you away from where you want to be.
Reading is a gift. It's something you can do almost anytime and anywhere. It can be a
tremendous way to learn, relax, and even escape.
The mind-set that says "I'll be happy when this desire is fulfilled" is the same mind-set that
will repeat itself once that desire is met.
One of the most important questions you can ever ask yourself is, "Do I want to be 'right' - or
do I want to be happy?"
Needing to be right - or needing someone else to be wrong - encourages others to become
defensive, and puts pressure on us to keep defending.
We take our own goals so seriously that we forget to have fun along the way, and we forget
to cut ourselves some slack. We take simple preferences and turn them into conditions for
our own happiness... It's helpful to keep reminding yourself and repeating the sentence, "Life
isn't an emergency."
I try to remember to start my day thinking of someone to thank. To me, gratitude and inner
peace go hand in hand.
Whenever we hold on to our anger, we turn "small stuff" into really "big stuff" in our minds.
We start to believe that our positions are more important than our happiness. They are not.
Your job is to try to determine what the people in your life are trying to teach you. You'll find
that if you do this, you'll be far less annoyed, bothered, and frustrated by the actions and
imperfections of other people.
Reflection is one of the most underused yet powerful tools for success.
When you take time, often, to reflect on the miracle of life - the miracle that you are even
able to read this book - the gift of sight, of love, and all the rest, it can help to remind you
that many of the things that you think of as "big stuff" are really just "small stuff" that you
are turning into big stuff.
You are what you practice most.
When our attention is in the present moment, we push fear from our minds. Fear is the
concern over events that might happen in the future - we won't have enough money, our
children will get into trouble, we will get old and die, whatever. To combat fear, the best
strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present.