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Library: Don't sweat the small stuff


by Catherine Palin-Brinkworth

Sometimes you find the most amazing things in the most unlikely places.

Over the years I have developed an illogical compulsion to always read my horoscope wherever I see it written up. I say illogical because with the greatest respect to those who seriously study our planetary movements and their effects on our life paths, it does not seem likely to me that one twelfth of the worldís population will experience the same thing at the same time. Maybe they will. I donít mean to be a sceptic, but I know thereís more involved than just sun signs. Anyway, for some reason these columns nearly always reflect pretty accurately what I am going through at the time. Amazing. So I read them.

One day I found something I particularly liked. This one thing has made all the years of illogical behaviour worthwhile.

"At all times, and in all situations, you must remember that fearing the unknown is a waste of time. Life now offers exactly what you need. No event is more than you can handle, and all that is required is acceptanceĒ.

Like it?

Some yearís back I had a big decision to make about my future. A good friend gave me a bit of wisdom which has given me courage and encouragement on many occasions since. He said, "Catherine, you can never make a wrong decision. "Wow! Was that a relief! That one line removed more fear and worry from my life than you can imagine.

You may argue, of course. There are some gross errors made by deluded and criminal minds that most certainly do not seem like right decisions to any of us. That wasnít the point.

His point was that for most of us, indecision and non-action are the greatest cause of our problems, rather than the actual decisions and actions taken. The logic is that everything we do, every place we get to, we learn something more and we grow in the doing and the getting to. Our normal common human fears of change, of failure and of success that paralyse us with worry into wrinkled little old statues, are the real obstacles to our growth and development; not the possible outcomes of the steps we fear to take.

Thereís a lot of talk right now about stress. Itís real, very real! I see it in my friends and sometimes my family, and I feel it too. Iíve been to stress management courses, and Iíve read much on the topic. Did you know that stress is a major contributing factor in 75% of human illness? Are you aware that over $100 billion annually is lost throughout the world through poor productivity due to stress? Does it concern you that the ten most common illnesses which people die from can be traced to lifestyle and stress?

NOW are you worried - and if not, why not?

Youíre not, are you? Good. You know as well as I do that if you want to fix the world, you have to start with your own act first. Just as Abraham Lincoln said about being happy, I guess everyone can be just about as relaxed as they make up their mind to be.

We act more reasonably, more happily and successfully when we are relaxed. We make faster, smoother decisions, which will inevitably lead us in an appropriate direction, because we can allow our unlimited mind to use some of its potential. We can actually develop real turbo power in our lives - all by relaxing and using less effort.

Feeling tense? Have a look where itís coming from. Is it past events or possible future events that are going through your head? Theyíre not happening now, so just drop them. The only reality is right now. And right now is all yours, with complete control to handle, as you will.

It makes no sense to worry about things you can control. And it makes no sense to worry about the things you canít control. I rest my case.

Energy, pure and transformed energy, is what this world is made of. Itís what your life is made of too. Thereís so much more of it, so very much more, when you quit worrying. Just give it up for today. Then for tomorrow. Then the next day. And please donít worry about how much you are or are not worrying. I even know people who pretend to be worried because they are worried other people will think they ought to be worried about something. Aaarrgh - enough!

We will survive. All will be well. Donít sweat the small stuff. AndÖ.Öitís all small stuff.

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Catherine Palin-Brinkworth CPS MAppSci speaks internationally on Leading Change and Managing Chaos at conferences, seminars and workshops. Visit her on or contact her on or phone +61 29904 5840



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