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The Life Of A Writer: Don’t sweat the small stuff!

by | May 17, 2012 | Personal Development | 11 comments


This subject has been on my mind so strongly that I thought it would make a great blog post.

In 2008, I read a book that changed my life. I may have blogged about it before, but the book is called Secrets of Success by Sandra Anne Taylor. Now let me warn you, if you are in a place of growth and transitioning and open to understanding how to progress your life in ways unimaginable then this is the book for you. I read this book around while I was going through a huge transformation in my life professionally, physically, and spiritually. This was around the time I finished the manuscript for my first book and during while I was launching my business. As a matter of fact, I owe a lot of my successes to the principles described in this book.

My brother shared this book with me and I don’t think the forewarn he gave me was proper, so I will instead do this for you. 😉

This book changed the way I think and how I interact with other people.

I’ve recommended this book to everyone I know and love and most people had the same transformation after reading it as I did. To be fair, I had one friend who it brought up a lot of her old baggage and forced her to have to deal with it.

Now, you’d have to speak to her to determine whether this was a good or bad thing. In my estimation however, dealing with baggage is a good thing. I like to use the analogy of making the choice of going through life with a lot of baggage weighing you down… Or going through life with just a few  bags you must carry. If you have an opportunity to tackle your issues, provided you have guidance on how to deal with those issues, in my opinion that can only be good for you.

Let me warn you…this book will make you clean house! It will prompt you to reassess your friends, your thoughts, your habits, and your relationships.

Depending on where you are in your life, everyone will have a different aha moment after reading Secrets of Success. But one of the many aha moments I had was about sweating the small stuff and that’s what I want to discuss in today’s blog.

When I was working in Corporate America, I got to a point where I was burned out with it. I’m sure everyone who has ever worked for someone can relate to this. Especially if you’ve ever worked in an environment where you had to work closely with other people. It’s not so much you are burned out with the job itself, but the politics of it all, the he say/she say, the having to answer to someone. Oh I could go on and on, but I digress….

The type of personality I have, I work best alone. I do fine in a group, but trust me, I work better alone, which is why writing is the perfect career for me.

Once I got burned out I didn’t know how to deal with it. My happy go lucky carefree self was starting to disappear. Vacations weren’t working anymore, unplugging from life wasn’t an option, so because I didn’t have an outlet for my frustration, I found myself easily agitated as a result of being burnt out. I found myself irritated if someone cut me off in traffic, or if someone bumped into me while walking in downtown Chicago. Hell there were days I was irritated if I heard someone laughing on the train. In other words, I was no longer able to sweat the small stuff.

It hadn’t always been that way but the burnout from my job was starting to trickle into my everyday environment because I felt helpless, like I had no control over the situation.

Soon after experiencing this “burnout” is when my brother recommended Secrets of Success. He told me it was the best book he’d ever read. I immediately headed over to Amazon and purchased my copy and once I received it, I knew this wasn’t a book I would read in a day or two. This was a transformational book. A look at yourself book. Deal with your habits book. Look at your friends book. An assess your relationships book.  Conquer your thoughts book.

Was there necessarily a chapter on sweating the small stuff? Well yes and no, but reading this book highlighted for me how actions becomes habits. I wasn’t going to allow a few bad weeks in the office to determine and alter the course of my life. And reading this book snapped me out of it!

There was something in the book that made me go, wait….

I get it!

Just let it go!

Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Don’t give it any attention!

Don’t give it power because I’m only going to attract more of “it”.

It couldn’t be that simple!?! Or could it?

For the last few years, (I read Secrets of Success in 2008) I’ve put the principles described in this book to the test. Some of the principles have been a little more challenging to me than others. But the one thing I’ve worked on is making a conscious decision not to sweat the small stuff, especially as it relates to people. Granted, sometimes that’s a lot easier said than done, but I can honestly say it works!

You’ll usually find it a lot easier to overlook things when life is fabulous and going great but when there is something stressful going on, it can and will be challenging to take this outlook. Don’t get thrown off course because you got a flat tire or your daughter spilled juice on the kitchen table!

Instead lighten your load! Give your attention to the things that matter! The life-altering situations! The things that make a difference to you and in your life! Don’t make sweating the small stuff a habit! Use that energy instead to accomplish your goals. Think positive thoughts and in return you will attract positive people and situations in your life. How are you dealing with the small stuff? Are you allowing the small stuff to keep you from your potential? Please share in the comment section below.


  1. Lisa

    Great Post!! I know that feeling of being a positive person and then slowly things start to irritate you. Well I guess, what is the small stuff? Sometimes things that irritating and bother you are actually big problems, but to others small stuff. I think I stress about things that are small, but because I focus so much energy on it, it because a big problem and then I need to reverse the issues. I will need to add this book to my list! Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Stefanie

      Lisa, you are going to love this book judging by what you already have on your bookshelf. Tell me what you think!

  2. Lisa

    Will do! Thanks!

  3. G G

    I've added this book to my current list list right at the top. Sounds like a must read and very timely for me. Lately I've been been letting a lot of things in that are annoying and distracting me. Also, I think I've been blowing certain things out of proportion. I realize I'm doing it but haven't really nipped it in the bud yet. This book sounds like it will help!

    • Stefanie

      Yeeaah GG. I honestly love this book and have started reading it again. I know you will love it, please let me know what you think!

  4. Synithia

    I will have to pick up this book. I have a habit of freaking out and worrying myself over silly things. Sounds like this book will give me tools to avoid this.

  5. Teonna

    Stephanie, I literally had a challenging beginning for my NewYear. I have been nalking into my purpose but have been tauted by my past with falling back into the way I had been immune to handling “the small stuff”, which has not been the best way to deal with it. I had been researching variou help tips to try and get on a more positive and structure path for my everything-my life, my thoughts, my heart. Everything you have written in response to your journey after reading the Secret to Success is what I’ve been searching for. I have yet to read the book but I want to thank you in advance for the recommendation. I could have written your every word verbatim regarding the state you were in prior to finding your you. The stress and just really Sweating All the small stuff is the place that I’m struggling to get out of. I’m excited that you were able to find that place of complete and utter self, so you were able to share this portion of your journy with me.I know as a writer, we all search for that point that we are free and can do our job and feel great about it. Thank you. I can’t wait to get the book and update you on my venture bc on this day, your words have giving me hope!….. There is a book I read a couple years ago that was awesome that you may have read or may want to read, its titled Dont Sweat the Small Stuff….And Its All Small Stuff -Richard Carlson..

    • Teonna

      Stefanie my apologies for misspelling your name, my Accer obviously has a spell check arrogance.

      • Stefanie

        No worries on the spelling!Sent from my iPod

    • Stefanie

      You know….after reading your comment you have inspired me to refocus and get back into that space. I appreciate the recommendation. Can't wait to hear what you think of the book!Sent from my iPod

      • Teonna

        Really, wow, I guess I just paid it forward! Get back to that place, you have a beautiful gift and inspiration that people are waiting for you to share. Ill keep you posted on my revelation with the book. I have followed you on twitter "Poetic Asylum". So keep the motivation coming. 🙂