So my dad got back home last Saturday from his three-day seminar and he brought me what I had begged him to buy…a copy of Uncharted 3–one of the games that I had been waiting for. Anyways, I just finished it last night and it was awesome! Kudos to Naughty Dog and the entire U3 team! Hopefully there’s a fourth one that would answer the remaining question about Nate.
Anyways, I am also almost finished with Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. This is another chapter that I want to share with you all and this chapter–Chapter eighty-three–is entitled Lighten Up.
This is what Richard Carlson has to say in this particular chapter:
These days, it seems that almost all of us are too serious. My older daughter often says to me, “Daddy, you’ve got that serious look again.” Even those of us who are committed to non-seriousness are probably too serious. People are frustrated and uptight about virtually everything–being five minutes late, having someone else show up five minutes late, being stuck in traffic, witnessing someone look at us wrong or say the wrong thing, paying bills, waiting in line, overcooking a meal, making an honest mistake–you name it, we all lose perspective over it.
The root of being uptight is our unwillingness to accept life as being different, in any way, from our expectations. Very simply, we want things to be a certain way but they’re not a certain way. Life is simply as it is. Perhaps Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Our limited perspective, our hopes and fears become our measure of life, and when circumstances don’t fit our ideas, they become our difficulties.” We spend our lives wanting things, people, and events to be just as we want them to be–and when they’re not, we fight and we suffer.
The first step in recovering from over-seriousness is to admit that you have a problem. You have to want to change, to become more easy-going. You have to see that your own up-tightness is largely your own creation–it’s composed of the way you have set up your life and the way you react to it.
The next step is to understand the link between your expectations and your frustration level. Whenever you expect something to be a certain way and it isn’t, you’re upset and you suffer. On the other hand, when you let go of your expectations, when you accept life as it is, you’re free. To hold on is to be serious and uptight. To let go is to lighten up.
A good exercise is to try to approach a single day without expectations. Don’t expect people to be friendly. When they’re not, you won’t be surprised or bothered. If they are, you’ll be delighted. Don’t expect your day to be problem-free. Instead, as problems come up, say to yourself, “Ah, another hurdle to overcome.” As you approach your day in this manner you’ll notice how graceful life can be. Rather than fighting against life, you’ll be dancing with it. Pretty soon, with practice, you’ll lighten up your entire life. And when you lighten up, life is more fun.
Unlike before, I can’t say I agree to this a hundred percent. I’m not sure I can just let life take its course. I’m more of the “don’t follow your dreams, chase after them” kind of person. So, I’m not sure about this particular chapter. Although, what I get from this is that we shouldn’t take life too seriously.
What do you guys think?