Saturday, June 30, 2007


In reading the book Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson I was struck by a simple piece of advice and that was to have patience. Way too often we allow things to upset us and a recurring theme in Richard's books is to ask ourselves the question "Will this matter a year from now?"

Of course many of the small things that increase our stress will not matter at all in a year and if we can understand that we will reduce our stress levels. He suggests taking a step back when we find ourselves getting angry or upset about something. If we learn to practice patience then it becomes easier not to stress about some of those things whether it be waiting at a red light or standing in a queue, or being interrupted when doing something we regard as important.

In those situations recently I have taken his advice and the mere uttering of the word "patience" has the effect of making those little stresses less important.


dan leone said...

Hi Loz:

This is a particularly timely post for me as I have been battling an ever-increasing surge in impatience. I have three children at home and I find myself snapping at them all too often and, worse, is the fact they now walk on eggshells when I am around. Not a good situation.

This is especially relevant because we ALL have been in the midst of some patience-impaired moment only to realize we are talking about something ludicrous, like dishwashing liquid or arriving at work 20 seconds sooner. Whatever the case is.

Good job!


Josie Two Shoes said...

This is great advice Loz. Patience is not one of my virtues, but definitely something I need to work at developing. A friend of mine once noted that even in just THREE DAYS the situation which is causing us distress, has most often changed or we have found a way to come to terms with it. When standing in line, etc. being impatient solves nothing, it just raises our blood pressure. We will still have to wait. So how much better to take a deep breath and learn to relax a bit! I'm working on it, sounds like you are too!

Jod{i} said...

I am well known for using the phrase, "Pick your battles", actually my staff I think have grown to loathe it...but it has the ring of patience and looking out at the scope and meaning of this(or that) in the grand scheme of it all....
Great post!

Loz said...

Dan - hope it does help. It's very easy to snap at kids sometimes, mainly because we forget they are kids and are therefore naturally demanding.

Josie - I am trying to work on it.

Jodi - thanks, much better to win the war

HollyGL said...

When I was younger, patience was incredibly foreign to me. It just wasn't in my nature.

Now, I'm much better, though I do have to say that sometimes it takes a conscious inner monologue consisting of some sort of "talking down" to be calm. But the point is that it works, and I am okay again.

What is usually most effective for me is putting myself in the other person's shoes. Empathy is a powerful equalizer.

Loz said...

Holly - and I know you are very empathic even posting comments to sooth a bruised ego :)

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you something, Loz, I keep finding gems like this all over your blog. You've definitely earned a fan.

My Grandfather of all people actually gave me this book the week before he passed. It's become a treasure for me, as he scribbled his own thoughts in the margins and on sticky-notes. The book was one of several he had with him, and each of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren received a different book of this type with his own thoughts and experiences on the particular subject.

Like I said... a treasure.

On the inside jacket of the copy he gave me it says: As virtuous as patience may be, waiting too long quickly becomes laziness. Realize this from the beginning, and that virtue can be priceless.

And thanks for the link... I'll return the favor.

Loz said...

Thanks for the kind words Seiche. Your Grandfather also sounds like a very wise man.

meleah rebeccah said...

totally great book, this is on my coffee table as we speak. LOVE THIS BOOK in all it's simplicity.

Loz said...

Hi Mel
It's on mine as well, together with "The Four Agreements", "Too soon old too late smart", "way of the Peaceful Warrior" and "Men Navigating Midlife". I dip into all of them constantly.

Jeff said...

Hey Loz,

I just want to comment on the fate question. I do believe in a God that is the master of my fate. But I also believe in free will. I see it as God being the chess master that plays chess with a room full of people at the same time {are you familiar with that)? Chess masters often have these exhibitions where there are rows of tables full of competitors each with a chess board and a game going between the amateur and the master. The master goes from board to board playing each game without giving the individual games much study. At the end of the day, the master beats them all.

I see God that way. We each have our own free will to move our pieces where we want. However, no matter what choices we have made, God ultimately controls the game.

Just my thoughts.