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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 31 August 2013
After suffering from a bout of anxiety and mild depression, I had read my fill of 'self-help' books.

This volume by the late Richard Carlson is not your run-of-the-mill self-help book.

So easily read - each 'chapter' runs to about 2-3 pages (and they're small pages at that). No preaching. No psycho-babble.

Mr. Carlson addresses the issues that prevent us from being happy in life - and they're all part of the 'small stuff' as he puts it.

I found something in pretty much every page - some meant more to me than others, but all contained, simple, straightforward advice which is written in a concise, readable and non-patronising manner.

Whether you're struggling or not - there's something in this book for everyone.

I wish someone had pointed it out to me a long time ago.

Buy it.
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on 2 March 2017
I've read several similar books over the years. Often some of the concepts go over my head and/or you're asked to complete exercises with pen and paper in hand. That's the LAST thing I want to do at the end of the day when I'm lying in bed! What I LOVE about this is the chapters are only two or three pages long with some really insightful, straightforward strategies. In fact, often I find myself saying: "Why didn't I think of that?!" I would STRONGLY advise this book if you're a "stress head" like me!! Hopefully no more! I plan on reading it a couple of times so everything sinks in.
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on 2 August 2007
This is an excellent self help book - for me, at any rate. it gives you 'permission' to NOT be assertive about everything. As someone who has been told to be more assertive, i found it demonstrates how being assertive about everything results in bad feeling for yourself and others, increased stress and lack of humour and calmness in life. There are many people in life who would do well to read it - sometimes less is more!

I agree that we shouldn't be complacent or have people walk all over us - but so often people have too great a sense of their own importance and seem to get upset by the fact that people don't always get as worked up about things as they do.

Was also very sad to hear that the author died tragically young.
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on 8 October 2008
I got this book for Christmas and really like it. I haven't finished it yet as I keep it in the living room and read it here and there. And I must say, it's a very motivating, umcomplicated self-help book. It's not the kind you have to sit down and read cover to cover either, rather it's a book you "sample" a few pages of- as the book is divided up into very short stories, each containing a gem of wisdom.

A classic that lives on, I give it 5 stars for its timeless values and inspiration. Readers interested in other inspirational books might also like The Sixty-Second Motivator as well.
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on 26 February 2001
A collection of short essays on how to gain perspective when you find yourself getting wound up. I got an immediate lift out of reading this book and recommend it heartily.
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on 18 October 2016
Some great wisdoms curated in this book revealing the nature of mind and how we can be our own worst enemies through our thought patterns. Needs weekly review to make some of the recommended ideas habitual. Other self-help books say pretty much the same thing, but this keeps things nice and simple, and therefore easier to adopt, and so more effective. From reading this I've taken-up Yoga, which he recommends along with meditation to help ones mental and physical health.

Sad to learn of the author's demise in 2006, coming up to ten years ago.
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on 15 August 2013
Nice bits & pieces of handy tips to help with stress but as with most self help books it takes a lot of practice. I prefer his 'Stop thinking & start living' book. He is however an amazing authour & the book is well written.
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VINE VOICEon 25 August 2002
...but as we all know - There is naught as uncommon as common sense. Good book that probably won't result in a personal epiphany but will most certainly juggle a thought or two in your mind.
Good as a gift for troubled souls.
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on 8 April 2009
I have found this book very helpful. After suffering from anxiety and stress for nearly a year and reading many self help books, I found this one quite different from the others out there. The style of writing and small chapters are easy to digest and the tips are easy to take on and try. When I start stressing or worrying now, I say to myself " Don't sweat the small stuff" and I let worries go!
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on 3 June 2006
This book is very good for helping people feel happier about themselves, particularly those with very busy lives where they are dashing about constantly and spend most of their time worrying. Much of the advice is very good: the advice on being more patient in conversations, adopting less aggressive approaches, not getting worked up over relatively trivial issues, and living in the present moment, are all sound and tend to help people to lead more contented lives.

My favourite section was the section on "when you die, your in-basket won't be empty". There is a lot of truth in this argument, and it's something that is often forgotten in the hustle-bustle of everyday life. Living life as if the purpose is to get all of the work "finished" and empty your in-basket is not generally a good plan for avoiding stress, as Richard Carlson explains very well.

However, there is one flaw in the book, in that some of the advice is contradictory, e.g. advising to listen to other people's problems, but then advising not to get involved with other people's problems.

Another issue, not just with this book but with many such self-help books, is that while the advice on letting go, being laid back and accepting is good for keeping oneself contented, it can promote complacency, which isn't necessarily a good thing. It is certainly better to accept that life isn't fair and that injustices happen, than to get worked up over injustices, but what we don't see enough of in the world is people taking constructive action to try and reduce the extent of the injustices. Life isn't fair; that doesn't mean it isn't possible to make it fairer than it currently is.

Indeed, it's not uncommon for people who accept an injustice as a fact of life, as part of avoiding "sweating the small stuff", to become very defensive of the injustice when someone suggests that it may be addressable.

The other main drawback of this laid-back accepting attitude is that sometimes it enables people to walk all over you.

However, despite the above criticisms, people with very busy lives, and/or who are worriers, are likely to benefit significantly from this book. That said, I found The Power Of Now by Echart Tolle to be more useful.
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