I am a firm believer in the sharing of knowledge and information. This article contains a culmination of years of research. It is in your best interest to take your time digesting it. Feel free to contact me if I can be of any further help.
The phrase “Don’t sweat the small stuff” was made popular by author Richard Carlson; however it was Dr. Wayne Dyer that provided him with this little gem.
What these two fine authors have in common is the ability to separate out the BIG STUFF (BIG PROBLEMS) from the small stuff (small problems). Their shared belief is that it is ALL SMALL STUFF!
The average person spends 80-90% of every waking moment either living in the past or worrying about the future. Life is way too short to live this way, yet most do. Is it no wonder that stress levels have hit epidemic proportions in the 21st century? By the way, don’t think that while you sleep stress is alleviated. A stressful waking life is a stressful at sleep one!
Here are some more examples of counterproductive thinking?
a. It can be as simple as a line of a song looping over and over again in your mind for extended periods of time before you even realize it.
b. Replaying an argument you had with someone over and over and over again.
c. Allowing yourself to get more and more anxious, angry or upset by allowing your mind to go off on tangents that create situations that haven’t happened yet and most likely won’t! Yet your mind vividly creates these damaging scenarios and your body functions react as if these things are actually happening.
d. Worrying about the bills piling up, yet doing very little to rectify the situation. YOU GET THE PICTURE. WORRY-WORRY-WORRY!
What can be done? Here are a few recommendations:
- Throughout the day, notice when your mind wanders out of the present moment and into situations that are counterproductive. When you allow your mind to wander from the present moment, you allow life to pass you by. The present moment is being sacrificed when your attention is elsewhere. The Jim Carey movie “Click” was an exaggeration of this, but the outcome his character experienced is virtually the same.
- Be proactive in your daily life. Train yourself to notice when your mind wanders, then gently guide your thoughts back to the present moment. At this point you will be able to decide where to place your thoughts instead of allowing them to run rapid. FYI “worrying” is extremely damaging while “pondering” a situation for a reasonable amount of time can be extremely beneficial.
- Listen twice as much as you speak. Taking genuine interest in other people will help ground you in the moment. It will also help build relationships with the least amount of effort.
- Put your energy where it will do the most good. Realize what you have control over and what you don’t. Many people worry about things they have absolutely no control over. In fact the pros say, “The only thing we have control over is our own thoughts and actions”, yet very few are able to exercise this positive control. Many people find themselves putting all their effort trying to control other people and situations which are all outside their circle of influence, as Wayne Dyer puts it.
- Take some quiet time every day to clear your mind of all thoughts. This is paramount, yet much more difficult than you might think. Whether you know it or not, you have conditioned your mind to constantly be in overdrive and overwhelm. It doesn’t know any other behavior. Start with 10 minutes a day and working your way up to 30 minutes of quiet time every day. There is nothing healthier you could do for yourself and the people around you. Doing this each day will recondition your mind in a way which will allow you to relax at a moment’s notice, which in turn will allow you to think more clearly when you need it most. You will gain the ability to react to situations appropriately instead of over reacting.
- Live life with confidence. Create and implement action plans to steer you, your business, and your family in the right direction
Children learn by what you do much more than what you say. If you have children then you have an even greater responsibility to manage your stress levels better and be in the moment as much as humanly possible. Because they will grow up and most likely recreate in their adulthood what they had as a child, thus repeating the cycle you had created for them. Or they may go in a totally opposite direction which could be just as damaging. Either way, a stressful upbringing will lead to many unhealthy adult decisions which could be carried forward for generations. Perhaps you yourself had more than your share from your upbringing! There’s also that “Cat’s in the cradle” song, if that doesn’t make you wake up and smell the canolies nothing will!
If you are someone who is already on this course or a similar one, I tip my hat to you. For the rest – worrying will always subtract from your happiness and the happiness of everyone around you! We all find ourselves worrying from time to time. The trick is to notice it ASAP and put ourselves back on track.”
Robert Frost said it best: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” The first road might lead you to an average life at best, the other-to greatness!
“Make this year the best year you’ve ever had! It’s all by design!!“
Steven Arecco is available for lecturing on a multitude of business and personal development topics. Those topics can be found at www.stevenarecco.com. Apart from his time on stage, Steven is happy to support the event with any social or other interactions such as dinners or group activities. Steven will do everything within his ability to contribute to the success of your event, every time.