I got an email the other day from a friend telling me about what seemed to me to be a minor problem with a vendor. A misunderstanding on cost or something. But it was his last line that stopped me. He said, “A least I didn’t let it ruin my whole day.”
Ruin your whole day? Seriously? I had just come back from a trip to Mom’s where she had fallen, broken her foot, lacerated her arm, and hit her head. That little fall resulted in over eight hours in the ER, plus several related medical appointments. The trip included several other appointments and dozens of problems she needed me to solve for her (and those continue every day). And it didn’t even occur to me to let it ruin my whole day, or any portion of my day for that matter! Now, I’m not bragging. I’m not always cool, calm, and collected, and I certainly used to let small things ruin my life. But I’ve learned some skills over the years that have helped me remain calm. Or at least calmer. And less of a victim.
Let me share a few strategies that have helped me. I’ll share the first in this post and the rest in the next one.
- It’s all small stuff: Richard Carlson has written a great little book called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff. In it, he shares strategies to accept what life has to offer with less resistance. Once we learn how to reduce the stress, we find that those things that used to have power over us lose that power. And that feels wonderful!