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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helps One Gain Perspective
Even the title of this book hints at gaining a broader perspective when life's frustrations occur. A famous quote from William James firmly establishes the book's theme: "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude" (p. 1). Carlson builds on James' observation by telling us that fear, worry, and doubt...
Published on Sept. 19 2003 by Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars What about the "big stuff"?
For the most part I enjoyed reading Richard Carlson's book. I've always thought that sweating the small stuff is a major problem in life and that putting things in perspective is an important element in being happy. It was gratifying to have some of these feelings reinforced. Many of his exercises were actually already part of my way of life, but there were also many...
Published on July 22 2001 by ZEV KAPTOWSKY


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helps One Gain Perspective, Sept. 19 2003
By 
Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr. (Edinboro, Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Paperback)
Even the title of this book hints at gaining a broader perspective when life's frustrations occur. A famous quote from William James firmly establishes the book's theme: "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude" (p. 1). Carlson builds on James' observation by telling us that fear, worry, and doubt eat up a tremendous amount of energy, thus robbing us of creativity and productivity. Getting outside one's self is the route to gaining a fresh perspective. We're reminded that by doing good to others, we feel better about ourselves. Another hint is in living in the present, for fear resides in the future. He includes a section on the Christian virtue of patience. Carlson argues that a clear mind reduces stress and allows for more fun. He tells readers to see difficult situations as challenges in life and goes on to encourage the random acts of kindness we hear about. A lot of his teaching is based on what the Bible teaches, however he doesn't present it in a Christian framework. Since it is largely solid advice, it is to be heeded and as it is, one's quality of life is improved.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a great little book., July 16 2006
This review is from: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Paperback)
I got this book for Christmas and really like it. I haven't finished it yet as I keep it in the living room and read it here and there. And I must say, it's a very motivating, umcomplicated self-help book. It's not the kind you have to sit down and read cover to cover either, rather it's a book you "sample" a few pages of- as the book is divided up into very short stories, each containing a gem of wisdom.

A classic that lives on, I give it 5 stars for its timeless values and inspiration. Readers interested in other inspirational books might also like The Sixty-Second Motivator as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DAILY READ!, Aug. 28 2003
By A Customer
Regardless of what's going on in your busy life, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff is worth a daily look. I make it a point to review at least one topic a day and have always come away with some great advice for the challenges at hand.
You'll want to have a copy on your desk and start the day with one of the many capsules provided Richard Carlson. And despite the simplicity of the advice you will reap big dividends in understanding yourself and others.
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4.0 out of 5 stars On Top of the Toilet Tank, Jan. 30 2009
By 
terrie schauer (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
Here's a little book I just love. Dr. Richard Carson's Don't Sweat the Small Stuff is a collection of one-or-two page nuggets of wisdom that will keep you from getting hot under the collar. Think of it as a Mission Impossible guide to diffusing all the little bombs life can leave by the side of the road every day.

"Surrender to the fact that life isn't fair" reads one chapter-heading, "Allow yourself to be bored" is another. Each little bit of wisdom will give you food for thought and provide a way, one issue at a time, of tackling some of the frustrating and self-defeating behavior patterns we all suffer from.

Now, I don't want to tell you to put this little tome on the top of the toilet-tank, but that's exactly what I've done. It's been sitting there for more that a year now and, once a day, I sit down and read one of Carson's two-pagers. And every morning, when I walk out the door, I'm that little bit more prepared to confront both myself and the big, bad world.

Thanks, Richard, for writing this little book of wisdom. I recommend it to anybody and everybody who doesn't have it all figured out yet!

[...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suggestions from a Qualified Therapist - Not Pop Psychology, April 2 2003
By 
Loren D. Morrison "amateur_reviewer" (Los Angeles County, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Paperback)
DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF is an absolute exception to the following statement. The majority of self-help books are a turn-off for me. The pop gurus we see on television and in infomercials who, in 90 seconds or less, know all about you and can solve all your problems, aren't qualified to help you. In contrast I believe that the suggestions given in DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF are so useful that I have purchased copies and given them as gifts to those nearest and dearest to me.
Dr. Carlson writes from experience garnered in over a decade as a practicing therapist. From these experiences he has developed a set of suggestions on how to cope with the stresses and annoyances of life. He doesn't try to analyze anyone, he just makes suggestions that one can use if they seem applicable.
There are so many useful strategies in the book that I can't begin to cover them all, so I will summarize a few that I found helpful.
"Choose Your Battles Wisely": In this section he advises us not to make a big deal out of things or persons with which we are at cross purposes. Most confrontations are both an unnecessary waste of time and damaging to relationships, usually over meaningless issues. Just let them go, he advises.
"See The Innocence": Here he tells us that when we are frustrated or irritated by something that someone says or does, we should look for the innocence behind the behavior. If we do, we'll probably find out that the we, ourselves, are the cause of our upset.
"Choose Being Kind Over Being Right": Here he suggests that, in most cases, who is right and who is wrong just isn't important. There's no need to always be right, so just ignore the opportunity to correct people.
One More: "Become A Less Aggressive Driver": The benefits of this suggestion are practically self-explanatory, so I'll let you guess at them until you read the book.
These are just a small sampling of the 100 suggestions in the book, each of which can help to make a life more pleasant and less stressful. Obviously, Dr. Carlson gives more detailed explanations, case studies, and various other enhancements to each of the hundred sections. He doesn't pretend that these are easy principles to put into practice or that it doesn't take a lot of work and introspection to learn to feel better. As he indicates, old habits are hard to break and a lot of backsliding is to be expected. As my old grandmother said. "Try it, you'll like it." (Or at least you'll like the results.)
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2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... (Wr. by Richard Carlson), May 20 2002
This review is from: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Paperback)
Dr. Carlson has all the best intentions in this fluff filled little book suggesting to people how to live a stress free, happy life. Unfortunately, Carlson often doubles up on his advice and offers up some really strange strategies that often conflict with his own sage advice.
There are 100 little one and two page strategies to improve your life. The title comes from some advice Carlson was once given, that many little things in our lives are blown up into huge things. However, Carlson gives the exact same length to topics like being nice to others as he does to the joys of taking care of a house plant. It often is not enough. In one strategy, he will suggest listening to another's problems and letting them vent, and then suggest not trying to solve everyone's problems. We should spend all of our free time with those we love, but keep time out for yourself. Cut back on your activities and reflect, yet get involved with charity and service and give something back. Carlson will often repeat topics as well, mentioning the same Mother Teresa quote twice. One of his strategies calls on the reader to write heartfelt letters telling others how much you love them. If I received a letter like this from someone I have not had much contact with lately, I would be more worried about whether that person was saying goodbye to this cruel world than anything else.
I have seen Carlson on TV talk shows, and he comes off as very knowledgeable and sincere, but after many dozen one and two pages strategies your eyes will finally glaze over as the helpful sap gets a little deep.
Don't sweat the small stuff, and this book is just that. I cannot recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wise and practical., Jan. 2 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Paperback)
I liked reading this book about self-growth, mostly because the author
shares the things he's learned along the way with a spirit of friendship.
Carlson's "DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF" is filled with day-to-day wisdom for
people who want to be free of a life that runs from one upset and complaint
to the next. The chapters are short and sweet, limited to one topic. Two
chapters I particularly enjoyed were one on criticism and one called "Will
this matter a year from now?" The chapter on criticism points out how no
good comes from criticizing yourself or others and how painful it feels in
oneself to be critical. The second is a nice way to get a perspective on
things happening in your life, and not getting too serious about them.
If you're looking for additional books that impart the essence of really
loving your life, then head straight for "WORKING ON YOURSELF DOESN'T WORK" by Ariel and Shya Kane. I can't think of a better way to start off the New
Year!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Book That Began A New Chapter In My Life, Sept. 9 2001
By 
Leslie (Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Paperback)
"Don't Sweat The Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff" - by Richard Carlson opened up a whole new world for me thus starting me on the road to a more peaceful life and healthier state of being. I first read this marvelous easy reading novel a couple of years ago and unlike many other's I know of who have also read the book I took my time devouring each chapter, so as to let each word, phrase and message sink in and fully understand its essence and more importantly practice each concept. Unfortunately for the other's who read it much too quickly, as if it were going to self destruct I imagine they didn't grasp the meaning of "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff." In chapter two "Make Peace with Imperfection", which pertains to its title making peace with imperfection I found myself laughing aloud inspite of myself because if "Perfection" were a town I most certainly would me mayor. Have I tried to let go of my need for constant perfection, why yes and although I find myself at times retreating back into my old habits I quickly remind myself there is nothing wrong with the way things are just as they are. Each chapter's 1 through 100 had a message that I could relate to, whether it was the way I was thinking and/or over-thinking to chapter 17, "Surrender to the Fact that Life Isn't Fair." I catch myself many times constantly going over the days events, but the beauty now is that I am equipped with the power and knowledge to catch this destructive thought process before it has time to snowball to the point of anxiety and gently remind myself to just simply let those thoughts, as scary as they may seem - GO! It certainly would be a more harmonious world if life were fair however,it's true it isn't, but that doesn't mean focusing on the negative will get us any further ahead. Life can be whatever we choose it to be, it can be positive for the most part or negative, it is up to you? We are what we think and conversly how we feel. Thanks to this insightful book, which I read twice and occasionly re-read certain chapter's, as refreshers it lead me down a path to self discovery and I had no choice, but to move forward. I went on to read other self help books, joined discussion and self awareness programs and attended seminars. I learned that once one makes the decision to change themselves or areas of themselves, as much as it would be easier and less stressful to stay where you were at, as change can be a stressor, it is impossible; the wheels have been set in motion and it is forward from here on end. Change is an essential part of ones growth and during those down times when I slip back into the old and unhealthy pitfalls of my thinking or acting I am forever greatful I have gained the knowledge to steer myself back onto the right path. If anyone would have ever told me that this book would have such an impact on my life and opened the door to a whole new world for me I would have never believed it. I work very hard every day on self improvement and I still have a ways to go, but at least now I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have highly recommended Richard Carlsons writings to others as the first book they read when wanting to re-shape themselves, as well as noting that it is a book that should be read slowly; like eating a great meal - enjoy it!! There are three great quote's I once read the first is by Charles M. Schultz, and they read as follows, "There's no heavier burden than a great potential." This embodies the meaning of my goal to change and move forward. The second written by Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right." This reminds me of how are thinking affects our well being. The third written by Muhammad Ali, "The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." This says it all - without change there will be no growth. The above quotes although not written word for word Richard Carlson touched on in his own unique way and they certainly touched me. "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff" is a learning tool packed full of humor, wisdom and truths a book that should be read by everyone. Thank you Richard Carlson for your gift.
Sincerely,
Leslie C. Phillips-Arbouw
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5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for angry aggressors and cherubic creatures, July 23 2001
This review is from: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Paperback)
In the 1950s two American scientists studying coronary-prone personalities defined what they called Type A and Type B personalities; in the 1980s the study of cancer-prone personalities yielded an additional Type C. Extreme Type A personalities are characterized by a free-floating hostility, aggressiveness, competitiveness, a constant sense of time-urgency, impatience and a constant striving for ill-defined goals. Just think of a choleric person you know. Extreme Type C personalities, on the other hand, suppress strong emotions, comply with the wishes of others, lack assertiveness, avoid conflict and behavior that might offend others, they obey conventional norms of behavior and maintain an appearance of niceness; stoicism and self-sacrifice appeal to them, their approach to life is outwardly calm and unemotional, and they have a tendency to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Richard Carlson has something to tell both of these types. His message is: become more sanguine, more forgiving and accepting of yourself, more laid-back, unaggressive, and easy-going; be the driver, not the driven; in short, become more like a typical Type B personality.
Richard Carlson's 100 suggestions how to slow down to the speed of life (incidentally, the title of another of his books) and how to focus on what is important are valuable reminders and great common-sense advice sprinkled with small bits of Eastern wisdom. Carlson does not push any theories or New Age stuff at the reader; he simply says, here are some things you might try and see if they work. If they do, practice them. Practice makes the master.
To give an example of a typical suggestion by Carlson: if you face an angry, aggressive person, imagine the person as a tiny infant and as a 100-year old adult; it will give you some needed perspective and compassion. That's true. When I underwent military training, the recommendation was that whenever the drill-sergeant yelled at me, I should picture him naked instead of resorting to some typical Type A or Type C behavior. It worked quite well. The yelling usually stopped with the comment "get that smirk off your face".
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3.0 out of 5 stars What about the "big stuff"?, July 22 2001
By 
ZEV KAPTOWSKY (Jerusalem, Israel) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Paperback)
For the most part I enjoyed reading Richard Carlson's book. I've always thought that sweating the small stuff is a major problem in life and that putting things in perspective is an important element in being happy. It was gratifying to have some of these feelings reinforced. Many of his exercises were actually already part of my way of life, but there were also many new ideas that were interesting and helpful.
The main problem I had with this book was that it was too one-sided. Carlson's overall message is suitable for those folks firmly entrenched in the upper-middle class. But for those of us who are still down there with the masses, struggling to make ends meet, Carlson's book is a little too laid-back.
What do you do for instance when your're faced with the dilemma of having to work longer hours so you can put your children through a great college (which they deserve to go to), but because of those long hours you have no time to be with your children in the first place? What do you do when a colleague at work or a neighbor is constantly overstepping his teritory and even though it's not that big a deal, it's really beginning to get you down. These are tough problems- "big stuff" -that involve making tough decisions. Putting these problems in perspective is definitely helpful, but being laid back and accepting is not necessarily the way to go.
By the way, another exercise could have been added to the book. How about - "Lose your temper at least once a month". That at least will help you get out some of the frustration of having to take out the trash everyday!
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