Lite Review: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work by Richard Carlson

For many of us, stress in the workplace is simply a fact of life. Regardless of the type of job we have, to a greater or lesser degree, we’re faced with issues and problems that we have to deal with. It can be very difficult not to take things personally and feel like we’re a victim of circumstances.

That’s where this little gem of a book comes in. But don’t let it’s small size fool you. It’s packed with practical advice and helpful strategies for handling the many stressors we all experience at work. It’s reader-friendly format makes it easy to navigate the short chapters and focus on the ones that apply to you and your particular situation. And the author uses lots of examples from his own life to help illustrate the points he makes.

The author, who passed away in 2006, was a psychotherapist and motivational speaker. A self-confessed optimist, he states “I believe that practically anyone can make at least incremental improvements in the quality of their lives by making small daily changes in attitude and behavior.” In other words, change must come from within us. As our awareness increases and we gain more perspective, more of the things we formerly considered to be a “big deal” will now seem like “small stuff”.

This book is part of the popular “Don’t Sweat” series of books that Carlson has written, and is the result of many requests he received from readers asking him to write a book focused on the workplace. It’s divided into 100 short chapters, each focusing on a different topic. The advice and suggestions are both practical and motivational. Some of them are just common sense that we all need to be reminded of once in awhile.

Some of my favorite chapters are:

#17:  Create a Bridge Between Your Spirituality and Your Work

#28:  Stay Focused in the Now

#45:  Recover Quickly

#55:  Accept the Fact That There’s Almost Always Going to be Someone Mad at You

#67:  Make Someone Else Feel Good

#75:  Strengthen Your Presence

#78:  Don’t Let Negative Coworkers Get You Down

#80:  Stay Close to Your Center

#81:  Forgive Yourself; You’re Human

#88:  Eliminate the Worry Factor

#95:  Don’t Sweat Your Critics

This book is an easy read with valuable insights and lots of wisdom. Best of all, you can quickly refer back to relevant chapters when you need a refresher. It would definitely make a great gift, especially for a co-worker or boss.

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