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Easier Than You Think ...because life doesn't have to be so hard: The Small Changes That Add Up to a World of Difference Hardcover – April 26, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Carlson, author of the bestselling Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, goes beyond the effort to minimize stress with 39 techniques for making positive changes in all aspects of life. Rather than embarking on lengthy or costly self-improvement projects, he suggests trying out smaller, simpler adjustments that he believes can make a real difference in everything from one's communication skills to peace of mind. Delivered in his trademark upbeat style, Carlson's advice is rooted in showing kindness and compassion to oneself as well as to others. He notes, for example, that a natural inclination to help can lead to taking on too many responsibilities. Learning to say no allows you to pursue a calmer and more meaningful existence. Although the author acknowledges that most people are beset by self-pity, he says that choosing to adopt a cheerful attitude each day will actually make you happier. Learning not to blame others for your troubles will provide a greater sense of control over decision making and enhance self-confidence. While many of the author's ideas are common self-help tropes (much of the book reads like an updated version of glass half-full/half-empty) that are not as easy to accomplish as they sound, Carlson has the knack of making them sound as if they are. Agent, Linda Chester. 15-city author tour.(May)
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“This book can be read quickly but also consulted again and again... everyone should come away with some new perspectives. (Library Journal)
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of the changes involve attitudes. Stop negative thinking. Pause before making a decision to think, "Is this what I've always done or what I really want?" Be kind to yourself. Recognize your stress triggers. Start a "rainy day" fund. Make a small difference in someone's life everyday.
There are 39 of these recommended changes. It seems to me that instituting even one or two would give immediate relief to someone overworked and stressed out. Gradually adopting many of these behaviors and ways of thinking could be life altering.
Yes, they may seem simplistic, but what do you have to lose? Hopefully you will lose a lot of stress that your current behavior brings you. Life doesn't have to be so hard.
I also recommend another book: The Happiness Makeover.
(see also Sections 2, 10 and 11), but that's no real surprise because
he is one of favorite authors . . . if his name isn't familiar, then methinks
you might want to jot it down and start reading his DON'T SWEAT THE
SMALL STUFF or anything else in that series.
Carlson has the unique talent to make things simple . . . in EASIER,
his subtitle says it all: BECAUSE LIFE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SO
HARD . . . it really doesn't, especially if you start implementing what
he mentions in his second subtitle: THE SMALL CHANGES THAT
ADD UP TO A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.
As an example, his advice from Chapter 18, "Set Your Expectations
to Zero," hit home because of some of the stress I'm presently
encountering with a move into a new home . . . he mentioned that
when you work out, you should set your expectations to zero so
you can appreciate your body, as opposed to resenting it and
wishing you were different.
He then cites the story of a dear friend of his dad's who recently
died: Even at the very end of Wally's life, he would say, "Life
doesn't get any better than this. I have today. I have my friends. I
can breathe. I'm alive. I'm very happy to be here." And the most
beautiful part of Wally's attitude was that everyone who knew
him know that he meant every single word.
There were many other tidbits I gained from reading EASIER
THAN YOU THINK; among them:
You can make an articulate argument for either side-being grateful
or being overextended. One will lead you toward satisfaction, and
the other toward guaranteed and sustained grief. And the beautiful
part is that you get to make the choice.
If we can accept the fact that the grass is as green as it needs to be
and that it's possible for us to be happy right now, then our lives
will be easier. Focusing on what is wrong as opposed to what is right
leads to a never-ending cycle of frustration. There are things we
simply cannot change or control no matter how much we would like
to. If we let these things take over, we are choosing to make ourselves
One of the most powerful observations I've ever made about stress is
this: obsessing over what stresses us out can cause more stress than
what originally made us stressed to begin with. I know that's a mouthful,
but it's true. And once you see the wisdom in this statement, your life
will never be the same. It goes to the heart of what really causes stress.