The Habit Society

⚡️ Don’t sweat the small stuff

To: Society Members

Good Morning!

Today marks the start of The Core Collective: a twice-a-day Zoom for a 30-second plank, with 5 seconds added each day. Log-in, plank, keep each other accountable and get on with your day. If you’re reading this after 8:30am, hope you had fun!

You can still join here, for free. See you tonight at 6:30pm EST.

– ⚡️ Nikki


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

I’ve recently read the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson, with the hopeful subtitle of, And It’s All Small Stuff. There are 100 chapters, so I can’t summarize them all with the promise of keeping this newsletter under 3 minutes, so here are my top three favorites.

Me before reading this book:

1. Let Others Have the Glory

Aka, don’t make conversations about you.

The reason we usually don’t let others have the glory, can be attributed to humility’s evil twin: ego. We all have soooome ego, which is a completely normal human experience. If you think you don’t—let me ask you this: do you have social media? Thought so. Ego is the part of you that needs attention, the part of you that interrupts your friend to say you actually have a funnier and even more ludicrous story from that time you also backpacked SE Asia.

Carlson thinks you should let others have the glory in your conversations. Most of us wait on the edge of our seat for the person to stop talking, so we can finally say what we assume will change the other person’s life. Or worse, we just flat-out interrupt. It’s a loss for us just as much as it is for them. To put it simply, it’s a bad habit.

Why’s that?

Well, for one, you make the other person feel like sh*t, creating distance between you guys. It’s not the recipe for fun and meaningful conversations and relationships.

Takeaway: From now on, notice your inclination to try to make the conversation about yourself and stop yourself from doing it. You’ll be more present, the conversation will be more enjoyable, and trust me, the person you’re talking to will notice.

Quote: “There is something magical that happens to the human spirit, a sense of calm that comes over you when you cease needing all the attention directed towards yourself and instead allow others to have the glory.”

2. Lighten Up
Light bulb

Carlson also claims that everyone is too serious and annoyed with…everything. Granted, there are times when seriousness is certainly warranted. But, I’m talking about anger that comes out when someone is 5 minutes late to a call, when that piece of egg won’t come off the pan, or when your computer freezes during Tetris.

Quote: “The root of being uptight is our unwillingness to accept life as being different, in any way, from our expectations.”

If you never had expectations in the first place, then, what’s there to react to? Of course, this is an oversimplified explanation. But, it’s a good starting point to lightening up.

Takeaway: Go one whole day without expecting anything. Don’t expect your barista to get your order right, don’t expect your roommate to do the dishes, don’t expect your girlfriend to cook dinner. If you’re lucky enough for any of this to happen, then you’ll be delighted. Give it a shot.

3. Imagine Yourself at Your Own Funeral

This one is a little bleak, but it’s a good thought exercise if our priorities haven’t been straight recently. It’s a way to remind us of what’s important in life.

Quote: “When we look back on our lives, how pleased are we going to be with how uptight we were?”

Priorities completely rearrange when circumstances change. Something that was taking up all your mental energy can seem completely irrelevant upon hearing new information. A good question to ask yourself: Will this matter a year from now? If it doesn’t, then let it go.

This one should actually make you feel happy—you’re not at your funeral, so it gives you the chance to change.

The Big Takeaway: Don’t sweat the small stuff.


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