Read: January 2023

Inspiration: Came across on Amazon’s bestseller list and had heard of its popularity through multiple decades


Written with the help of ChatGPT, below is a brief summary to understand what is covered in the book.

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, published in 1997 by author and psychologist Richard Carlson, teaches readers how to reduce stress and live a happier, more peaceful life. The book is organized around a series of short chapters, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of life that can cause stress and offers tips for how to deal with it. The book covers a wide range of topics, including relationships, work, and personal growth, and provides practical advice for how to stay calm and focused in the face of life’s challenges. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is a comforting and uplifting guide to finding peace and happiness in the face of stress, and is a valuable resource for anyone looking to lead a more fulfilling life.

Unedited Notes

Direct from my original book log, below are my unedited notes (abbreviations and misspellings included) to show how I take notes as I read.

Valuable to recognize being frantic and in a hurry only drains energy that could be otherwise directed—not a requesite for success as it may appear, big things are nearly always small things we make big ourselves, practice not interrupting/finishing others sentences—draining to be in 2 heads at once, when feel agitated by external situation ask self “what is this trying to teach me?” and find positive, time warp exercise—ask if something will matter a year from now when stressed, allow self time to be bored and find relaxation in doing nothing, goal should not be to tolerate as much stress as possible—should be to catch stress early and cut off before snowballs, carve out daily moment of quiet (can be just 2 mins even), be conscious in conversation to listen fully—not just not interrupt but mind is also not on your next response, understand how rapidly moods swing—do not analyze your life in a low mood (wait for return to positive), try to see innocence in others’ actions (know that you likely have acted similarly before, goal is not to be rude/annoying—something else at root), don’t be so quick to correct others—even if well intentioned can be hard to be a net positive, start each morning thinking of someone you love or something grateful for, judging others saps a lot of energy—just embrace differences, don’t argue for your limitations b/c become reality (ie saying something bad always happens to you, self-fulfilling), the need to be critical is a reflection of self not subject of critique, first find grain of truth in others opinion you disagree with, do not overanalyze low moods—remain calm and recognize will pass (just relax), keep 100 year perspective—all new people by then so what truly is important, focus on accepting problems not fighting—life as a dance not battle where problems inevitable, unhappiness comes from struggle against natural flow of moments/things, don’t analyze when in negative mood, thought precedes emotions so next time down consider how you are thinking and recognize in your control

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Welcome to JeffReads, where I share summaries of the best books I’ve read on business, politics, science, technology and more.




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