Eight years ago I was dealing with a lot of stress in my life: finishing a dissertation, hoping to be able to find my first academic job, then finding it and having it be in the deep south--a culture that I thought might be difficult to adjust to, having to take my wife from a job she loved in Bloomington to Alabama, having to prepare for a my first academic position (new teaching preparations, new rules, new students, new responsibilities).
All of this came back to me this morning when I read that the author Richard Carlson had passed away at the very young age of 45.
Carlson wrote two books that I picked up eight years ago which certainly helped me through that very difficult time in my life.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and It's All Small Stuff and Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work each provided me with a 5 minute respite at the beginning of every day. To a certain extent, I owe a bit of my sanity to Carlson and I thank him for his publications. In fact, I took them off my bookshelf today and will periodically remind myself of some of his best suggestions like:
*** Develop you Compassion
*** Remind YOurself that When You Die, Your "In Basket" Won't Be Empty
[ironic, as Carlson had a heart attack while going to a TV appearance
*** Let others have the Glory
*** Choose your battles wisely
*** Nurture a plant
And from the at Work book:
*** Don't Sweat the Bureaucracy
*** Remember the Motto, "You Catch More Flies with Honey"
*** Never, Ever Backstab
*** Learn to Say No without Guilt
*** Forgive Yourself, You're Human
*** Remember to Appreciate the People You Work With