|Posted on November 18, 2019 at 8:30 AM|
“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Most people have heard the phrase “Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and It's all Small Stuff.” This quote was originally coined by Robert Eliot, reported in a Time Magazine article about stress from the early 1980's. It also appears in Robert’s book entitled Is It Worth Dying For? from the same period. The quote however, is often attributed to Richard Carlson, an author and motivational speaker who became famous with his best-selling book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff (1997). Regardless of the origin, this quote has impacted many lives, including my own.
Like many people, it’s easy for me to get entangled in stress about lots of things and decisions that need to be made. And so I wrestled with the quote, because it seemed to me that it’s NOT all small stuff. Some decisions sure seem to be about “big things” like what career path to choose and whom to marry.
But on considering it further, I think the point is The Small Stuff. I know I often spend way too much time worrying about things that really are small and unimportant in the grand scheme.
I’ll give you a prime example from last week – one morning my husband wasn’t yet awake when I needed to get ready to leave the house. So I pulled items from my closet, dressed in semi-darkness, and soon was on my merry way. I discovered later that I was wearing a dark blue shirt instead of the black one I had intended to choose to match my black slacks and black and white sweater. I was instantly mentally transported back to that one time years ago when I overheard a woman comment about how awful it was to mix blue with black clothing – and I was the one wearing the blue and black! I was devastated and immediately ran home to change clothes.
Not surprisingly, last week the first thought in my head was “what will people think?” But fortunately I also remembered the small stuff quote. Who really cares if I wear blue and black together? And even if they do, should I let that upset me? Absolutely not! And I continued to wear the outfit for the entire day.
I often catch myself sweating about the small stuff. What if I oversleep and am late to a meeting? Suppose my dinner guests gets served a dry roast? Or what if I can’t finish a task I had promised to complete by a certain time? Will the world fall apart? Yes, my lapse might result in some ruffled feathers or inconvenience, but life will go on.
In my opinion, most of what happens in life is small stuff! So rather than wasting precious time getting upset about all these little things, I am choosing to not worry about them. If I make a mistake, oh well – I will correct it and move on. Instead I am going to focus my time and energy on the big things, like my family and my prayer life. Because in the end, those are the things that are truly most important to me.
Are you sweating the small stuff? Maybe this week you could spend a little time thinking about what you worry about and decide if those things are maybe too small and not worth all that worry time. Perhaps you might be blessed instead by focusing on the things that really matter to you. I encourage you this week to not sweat the small stuff!
Have a blessed Monday!
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