May 20, 2010


‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ (Hyperion, 1997) is a book written by Richard Carlson (Ph.D.) in 1997, who died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 2006 while travelling in a plane.

The book is full of various suggestions for people to achieve peace of mind in life. In one of those it is said, “Don’t forget: When you die, your to do list will still be full.” It is continued as, “And… there will be someone else to do those.” Richard Carlson utilizes this view as one of the starting points to achieve peace of mind.

I realized that we could use such an approach in various ways in our business life, which is changing rapidly. Let’s say that you have prepared your to do list this morning. Then you went to your appointment with your doctor in the afternoon and the doctor informed you that you have only one more day to live. Now, when you look at your to do list of this morning, how many items do you still wish to complete? This approach reminds us of our priorities.

When I call businessmen after a few months of meeting with them to learn their decision for seeking a partner for their company, some of them tell me, “It is good that you have called … Because of our daily work load, we haven’t been able to spare time for this subject yet.” In line with all they had explained to us in our first meeting, we know that they needed to find a partner urgently. When we receive this answer, we understand that they have lost track of their priorities because of daily small stuff. When we meet a couple of years later, I hear the following sentence quite frequently: “I wish we had decided to seek a partner at that time; now it is too late.”

My suggestion: You can apply it both in your private life and in your business life. Just try. You will at most lose an hour and will get angry at me. :-)  Make a list of the things you want to achieve and the problems you wish to solve within a certain period of time, and then put these in an order of priority. Keep the period of time as short as possible. I believe that you will find some very interesting solutions.

I think that Richard Carlson’s book will give you some valuable hints to develop your formula for a peaceful life.

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