When I was still in the dating game, I went with this lovely man who had big reactions to little events and I said to him one time, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” His response was, “There is no small stuff.” His life reflected this belief. He was often upset about what I thought were little things and he was angry about many things and with many people. Nothing was too small to set him off. I saw him not long ago and he admitted that there was a lot of small stuff and he no longer let it ruin his life. Too bad he sweat it for so many years that he could have been enjoying life on a much grander scale.
If you are always upset and angry you might want to define for yourself what is “small stuff” and what is “big stuff.” I can’t tell you how to sort it for yourself but I can give you some thoughts on some of my small vs. big stuff.
Small: someone driving very slowly in front of you when you’re in a hurry
Big: a drunk driver weaving in and out of traffic endangering everyone’s life
Small: someone in front of you in the bank line who seems to have endless business
Big: no money and no bank account
Small: a cranky, too tired, child
Big: a child with an incurable illness
Small: looking in your overfull closet and declaring that you have nothing to wear
Big: nothing to wear and no closet
Small: he spilled and there’s a spot on your carpet
Big: no house and no carpet
Small: the wind blew and messed up your new hair do
Big: the tornado came and blew away your house
Small: someone put a scratch on your fender
Big: your car was totaled
Those are probably more examples than you need to get the idea.
So from now on when you start getting rattled ask yourself some questions:
- Will this have a long term affect or is it a just-for-now annoyance?
- Is this endangering my life or the life of another?
- Is this something that will impair my health or the health of another?
- Is this something that will make a significant negative impact on my life style or the life style of another?
- Is this something that endangers any living thing on the planet?
- Is this something I really want to lose control over?
Again, this is about choices based on what you believe about what is important to you and what is not. So you can decide if you wish to be upset or if you wish to be mellow. So when you get it sorted out, don’t sweat the small stuff.