Don't Sweat the Little Things

When something happens and you realize, “Crap! this is gonna screw things up”, just accept it and move on to the next step. It is what it is. If it's something that's not in your hands—if it’s something that you can’t control—then let it go. You can’t control it.

Be confident that things will turn out OK. You'll live. The day will go on. The sun will rise again. People will die. People will be born. People will make money. People will lose money. People will find jobs. People will lose jobs.

Go and stare at the ‘deaths today’ meter for a few minutes (hopefully you won’t last that long). Try to picture each of those deaths. Yours will be one of those numbers someday. And then the next number will come and whoever is watching that clock will forget about your number.

The world is not going to change or stop or end because of this little thing that happened to you. Relax. Don’t sweat the little things. Take a deep breath and move on.

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  1. There are people I will never forget… despite the numbers rolling over. Individuals who meant so much to me and to the world around them that they or their memory could never be lost in the numbers.On the upside… I was happy to note that “new book titles published” and “forests lost” were pretty much at a standstill. That’s good. Isn’t it? 🙂

    • But the numbers aren’t people, Jean. 🙂 There will always be people we won’t forget, no matter how many come and go in between. My point wasn’t that we are just numbers that will be forgotten, but rather that by watching numbers we’re missing out on what’s real (that’s why I said I hoped it wouldn’t take anyone several minutes of watching the death meter to stop watching it… and start living; watching those death numbers means nothing to us, despite each of those representing a real life).

  2. LOL – DJT has said the “Crap! this is gonna screw things up” alot…… remember me giving away the boxes of sweater that belonged to wifey…… or the “DJT can fix the garage door” and get locked in my own garage in winter… or the… yeah… to many to list here. Thanks for bringing up the memories tho 😀 DJT can move on from his “crappy” moments 😉

  3. Raam, it’s curious that I find this in my newsfeed just when I am going through the motions. For some time now, I’ve been trying to put on a happy face and life has dealt me blow after blow. Yet, I try to keep things in perspective: I still have a home, I still am able to afford food, put gas, etc, and that I am safe, and that there is someone in my life whom I love, despite that person being 8,500 miles away — but I am thankful for the love in spite of that.

    What’s been happening in my home country (Syria) has been traumatising, especially when I can’t reach my family for hours, or my friends, and at the same time try to go on through my day here in Dubai where lots of it is pretence. I work in the field of advertising and my brain is in constant conflict between my own values, what the industry stands for, and the alternate life in Syria.

    Yesterday, God has been merciful and denied my father a premature death by not having a wired car blow up. It’s traumatising for everyone and it’s difficult to not sweat anything when the mood is not at its best. I even lashed out at my lover at 4 AM. Apologised this morning but still waiting to be forgiven.

    It’s a practice to keep things in check and in perspective. Mental fortitude is something I am aggressively working on and the vicissitudes of life keep coming. I am one who tries to see the good in everything but when there’s too much of it, what am I to do, Raam?

    I am thankful I am in a place that is not under bombardment — but it’s becoming difficult to distance the self constantly from the realities of life and shrug them off.

    • Kinan,

      I will not pretend to understand what it’s like to be in your situation as I’ve never had such circumstances surrounding me. However, I also would not consider many of the things you described to be ‘little things’ at all, but serious situations that need serious considerations.

      With that said, I can relate to holding a job and spending my time doing work that does not gel well with my values. And I remember how it affected me in all realms: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It affected me to such a degree that I had become someone I didn’t want to be, ruined a long-term relationship that meant more to me than I knew, and wasted away so much of my time. Looking back, I cannot understand how I put up with myself, or my life. Taking the necessary steps to change what I knew felt wrong wasn’t easy and I feel lucky that I reached a point where I felt there was no other choice but to jump into the abyss, where the risk of continuing on as I was had become greater than risking everything I thought I had ‘gained’.

      I’m now on a path of self-recovery and self-rediscovery, of journey towards being kind to my Self and appreciating who I am and what potential lies within. In being kinder to myself, I’m able to be more kind to others, to be more thoughtful in the present and less reactionary. And also, perhaps most importantly, life feels more like canvas on which to paint, not a crowded forest that I must fight my way through.

      I don’t think we should ever ‘shrug off the realities of life’. The realities of life are here to teach us lessons, to strengthen us, and to remind us of what’s important. But unless we are ourselves–unless we’re being true to our nature–we won’t have the fortitude or capacity to face what is to come. We must start from within and then work our way outward.

      • Thank you for your reply, Raam 🙂

        Not being able to gel the current job with one’s own values is a challenge and it is taxing me greatly. I can spend all the time in the world to nag and rant but it would not get me anywhere; decisions will. While what I have mentioned to you is but a fragment of a slightly larger set of big challenges, they are affecting me in such a way that the little things keep gnawing at me and aggravate me.

        But enough of that. My question to you is: when you want to make a radical decision, how do you factor in which variables *do* weigh in and which ones you *think* weigh in. Say for example moving to a different country or finding work elsewhere or changing your whole career path or whatever. How do you tie in what is important and what isn’t, like family and financial realities etc.

        I ask because my parents raised me to be the Responsible Caretaker, and with that the (false?) sense of responsibility that I need to take care of everyone and consider everyone’s well being and tie them to mine.

        It’s off topic, but it feeds into “sweating the small stuff” because I feel responsible for everything around me, from my friends’ well-being to even how cigarette butts are disposed by strangers.

        • Kinan,

          I always listen intently to my instinct and intuition when making any ‘radical decisions’ and in thinking about how to reply to your question, the first answer that came to me intuitively was that radical decisions always outweigh ‘variables’. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take into account the things that are important in our lives, but I think that a radical decision that feels right has already taken into account the variables that matter to us (otherwise we wouldn’t be considering the radical decision).

          When I made the decision in late 2009 to quit my job, sell all my stuff, move overseas, and otherwise radically change my lifestyle, I believe that all the ‘variables’ had already been subconsciously taken into consideration. If at that point I had stopped to look at any one of the variables — finances, relationships, family, career — the decision I was about to make would’ve seemed irresponsible and idiotic! I had very little money ($3k total), there were various things happening in my family that warranted me staying near home, and my carrer was at the point where it could really take off.

          But looking at any one of those variables and comparing them against the radical decision I was making would’ve been the wrong thing to do. My personal happiness, fulfillment, and will to explore my potential were at stake. Did money outweigh those? Nope. Would my family really have wanted me to die inside? Nope. Was my carrer more important than happiness and fulfillment? Definitely not.

          I certainly wasn’t able to see any of those points in the heat of the moment, when I was making this radical decision. However, in retrospect I recognize that it was only because I trusted that my intuition knew more than I did — that this radical decision was so important that all the variables would work themselves out — that I was able to move forward and trust the process. You might call it a ‘leap of faith’.


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