Stepping into a used bookstore is like searching for buried treasure.

Every aisle holds the potential for finding a rare gem at a fraction of its original cost. The last few occasions I drove via I-270, I stopped by Wonder Books in Rockville, MD.

In 2010, when I lived in the United States, Wonder Books was my one-stop shop for purchasing books on contract bridge. After I moved to India, I fortuitously had occasion to visit Wonder Books on my visits to the United States — once in 2015 and again in 2019. I purchased non-fiction books on both occasions.

In 2019, I picked up Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Men for $3 — a steal. Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff got me started on my self-transformation journey. I then read other books by Carlson whenever I got the chance — and I was delighted to pick up yet another book in the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” series.

Although Carlson wrote this book for men, I realized that wisdom is universal and much of the advice applies to both men and women.

Here are six nuggets of wisdom from Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Men that can benefit both genders.

1 — See Things From a Distance

When our friend is facing a crisis, we step in and offer a solution, viewing the situation objectively from a distance.

Our aim should be to adopt this perspective in our own life, viewing things from a third-party standpoint, to gain clarity and make better decisions.

Additionally, this will help us avoid the temptation to engage in self-sabotage, a habit we know from personal experience to be all too easy to fall into.

2 — Let Others Be Right About the Little Things

In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock. — Thomas Jefferson

Richard Carlson made this point in Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

Wanting to be right comes at a price: peace of mind. The desire to be right is the ego wearing a disguise. Letting others “be right” makes them happy and avoids conflict.

Now, Carlson adds a qualifier here: Let them be right about the little things. We certainly want to stand up for your choices and live our life fully. The last thing we want to do is become a pushover.

Borrowing another tip from Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, we want to choose our battles wisely. And we don’t want to waste our ammunition on the little things — we want to reserve it for things that truly matter to us.

3 — “So What?”

This is one of the most impactful self-help pieces of advice I have encountered.

Things didn’t go your way? So what? Why is it an issue? When you delve deeper, you’ll realize that it doesn’t matter that much.

Your spouse snapped at you again? So what?

Your child isn’t listening to you? So what?

The dealer took advantage of you? So what?

You got fired from your job? So what?

By fully embracing this approach, the sky’s the limit in terms of reclaiming inner peace and not letting external circumstances impact you.

4 — Live by the Motto, “It Is as It is”

Reality is my drug. The more I have of it, the more power I get and the higher I feel. — 50 Cent

It is as it is.

Not as we want it to be.

We see patients in the psychiatric ward unaware of reality and experiencing a world of their creation. Are we any different? While we fool society by pretending to conform to its norms, don’t we live in a made-up world of our expectations rather than embracing reality?

5 — Let Go of the Past

A disturbingly high portion of the global population clings to past trauma. I am guilty of a good share of past-trauma clinging.

Holding onto past trauma is a surefire way to suffer. This suffering transforms into anxiety, depression, and various other mental health problems.

Why not release the past, forgive and forget, and fully enjoy this magnificent journey called life?

6 — Practice Mindfulness

Writing about mindfulness on is like suggesting the importance of good grades to a 4.0 student.

The Black Lotus app presented me with a mindfulness challenge to eat a piece of chocolate while solely focusing on the chocolate. The experience was incredibly delightful, much more so than eating absent-mindedly.

I was also introduced to the Zen tea ritual, which involves drinking tea mindfully for five minutes.

Although I have a long path ahead in my journey towards mindfulness, the glimpses of inner peace I have experienced have convinced me that a mindful lifestyle is a valuable way to live.

Parting Thoughts

Wisdom is gender-agnostic.

As you see, these 8 strategies apply to both men and women.

I may well complete my Don’t Sweat collection by purchasing Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms — I may find a life-changing epiphany.

The Don’t Sweat series never ceases to amaze me – it contains several pieces of life-transforming wisdom in a warm and soothing tone.

Image Credit: Carlson LLC