You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff

Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff

We’re often told, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Don’t let the little, niggling details of life get you down. Don’t miss seeing the forest because you’re focused on the tree. Don’t let the small, unimportant things stop you from enjoying – and living – your beautiful life.

And this is good, solid advice. But it’s advice we’ve all heard before. And I have to wonder:

How’s that going for us?

I don’t know about you, but when I try not sweating the small stuff, I automatically start thinking of the small stuff. As though my brain is saying, “Right. Here are the things we need to stop thinking about… So let’s think about them. A lot.”

The inconsiderate train passenger, the annoying sound of a lawn-mower at 7am, the too-slow driver, the price of milk, the lines of traffic, the fact that the supermarket has no avocadoes. Small stuff.

And for this small stuff, I agree with the advice above. I think it should be repeated like a mantra whenever you feel the weight of a thousand little problems on your shoulders. Don’t sweat that particular small stuff.

But this weekend, I am calling on you to sweat the small stuff. Some small stuff at least.

The key? Make it the right small stuff.

  • A smile to a stranger
  • A hug to a child
  • A moment of quiet, taken for yourself
  • That first sip of hot coffee
  • A visit to a grandparent
  • A phone call to a friend
  • Reminding someone you love them
  • Words written on a fresh, blank page
  • A reassuring squeeze of the hand
  • A cheeky glance between lovers
  • A love note
  • Holding the door open
  • Telling someone to have a wonderful day – and meaning it

These are small things. Tiny even. And hundreds of these moments present themselves to us every day, yet because we’re so busy sweating the other small stuff – the wrong small stuff – we miss them completely.

But here’s the kicker… This stuff – the list above – stops being small as soon as you pay attention to it. The person on the receiving end doesn’t see it as small. In fact, these tiny actions have the power to change their day. You have the power to change someone’s day by paying attention to the small stuff.

So please, let’s sweat the small stuff.

When was the last time someone’s small stuff changed your day?

10 Responses to You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff

  1. I will do this! Make those words a letter – a handwritten letter to someone for a thank you, a birthday wish – or simply for no reason at all… Thanks for this one Brooke.

  2. I was grocery shopping at Wal-mart Wednesday morning and wasn’t in a great mood. I was kind of blah. When I was checking out, I asked the clerk how his day was gone and he actually responded (not all do). We ended up chatting about 12-12-12 and the “end of the world” and some science related trivia that he knew. It was a light hearted interesting conversation and I found myself smiling as I walked out to my car. Not all checkers are friendly like he was and it really just made my day. It was definitely a little thing but I appreciated it. That friendly conversation was just what I needed.

  3. I love this thinking. I try to do this on a daily basis. I saw one of my customers yesterday who I sat behind at church on Christmas Eve. She was with her husband and 2 grown daughters all dressed up so beautifully. She and her husband were passing light touches and smiles to each other and the girls. I told her that her that she had a beautiful family and that there was such love emanating from them. I told her that she and her husband had done such a wonderful job raising their daughters. She said she was “humbled”.

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