How To Not Sweat The Small Stuff

My son is almost two years old and his personality amazes me every day. It is incredible all the things he learns and remembers in such a short period of time. He’ll do things exactly as I do them and I don’t even realize that is how I do something that way until he tries it. He knows less than one hundred words, but I still learn new things every day from him. I sweat the small stuff in my life. It is very hard not to with so many distractions these days! My son being less than two years old sweats the really small stuff and I hope you can learn from him as much as I did. 

It is Just a Hair

Being first time parents, my wife and I were trying to be as laid back as we could, but still try to keep a moderate amount of germs away. That is a very skinny fence to balance on with a toddler. He constantly grabs items off of restaurant floors and eats them or runs his hands across a dirty car and licks his fingers. This is stuff we can’t exactly control, but the items that we can, we try.

For example, when he’s eating, we make sure to wipe his hands clean before and after. Sometimes, he grabs items off the table or from the table and manages to get them stuck onto his hands in the “during” process. Anytime my wife noticed a hair (one of many things we usually see stuck) she’ll say “Ew a hair, let me get that off for you” and she’ll grab a napkin and wipe it off. We don’t worry about his face too much because well, the next bite will be all over it anyways, so why wipe it now?

Now Easton has learned that if he has anything that resembles a hair on his hand, it is “Ew” and it needs to come off immediately before taking his next bite. His toddler accent is awesome when he points it out. It is a mix between a drunken Bostonian and Minnesotan when he talks so when he is trying to say “Ew, a hair” it comes out more like “eah ah Hayah.” Once again I find myself wiping his “Hayah” off of his sticky fingers while he has yogurt covering his face from his chin to some hanging from his eyelashes.

You Have Yogurt All Over Your Face


How often to we worry about the “Hayahs” on our hands when our faces are completely covered in food?” I use the term “worry” loosely here. Sometimes we “worry” about things, but really it is only where were are focused. There are bigger issues, pains, problems, or other areas for growth, but yet we are focused on items that really don’t matter.

  • Why didn’t I get that job? I’m well qualified.
  • Why would they go with them? Me and my services are twice as good.
  • I need to fix my marketing – Our sales are not growing
  • I should not have eaten that piece of cake.
  • We have a republican president – that’s going to ruin my next four years

Can all of these problems be a big deal? Sure. In the grand scheme of your life and goals, should you be focused on the small items that tick you off or don’t provide growth? Of course not. We tend to focus on things that hold us back. They are easy crutches to lean on when times get tough. “Well, I didn’t make my sales goal because I lost that one prospect that said they were going to come over.” “We didn’t hit our mark because our marketing is not working.” “I didn’t lose any weight because I kept eating my mom’s cakes she would make every week.” Can all of those reason’s be true. Yes, of course, but can they be avoided? Yes.

Focus on What You Can Control


If you focus on the larger items in life, and truly make plans, processes, controllable goals, then you will succeed. If you focus on the downsides and the “Hayahs” you’ll never move forward. You have too much yogurt on your face and you keep putting more and more on with every bite.

  • Why didn’t I get that job? I am well qualified.
    • Sure you are well qualified, but you relied on your qualifications and experience rather than the true mark of excellence which is growth. Consistent and current growth trumps experience and tenure every day.
  • Why would they go with them? Me and my services are twice as good.
    • It is great to track your business, but don’t dwell in it. Focusing too much on one loss will allow 20 more to slip on by. Keep the focus forward not backwards.
  • I need to fix my marketing – our sales are not growing.
    • There are so many reasons why your sales could not be growing. Don’t jump to conclusions. Dive deep into your business and see where the gaps are so you can focus on how to fix them. Once you make a fix, move forward with confidence and action.
  • I should not have eaten that piece of cake.
    • No, you should not have and you should not have missed the last five days of your workout routine either. Personal fitness and health is a discipline and not a quick fix. The best part about that fact is if you are disciplined, one piece of cake doesn’t hurt.
  • We have a republican president – that is going to ruin my next four years.
    • If you do not work in politics, why do you let this get to you? Sure be passionate about items you care about, but don’t let it mentally affect you. If it upsets you, take action. If you don’t take action, it must not be that big of a deal. . .stop sweating it.

How to not sweat the small stuff

  1. Control what you can control.
  2. Have a daily mission and a purpose
  3. Make small goals everyday that you can control if you focus in that direction. We like to call them “Controllable Success Factors”
  4. If anything happens outside of that mission or purpose that you can’t control, assess it, note it, and move on.
  5. Did I say. . .Control the controllables?