Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
I first came across the phrase “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” a few months ago in an interview in the Sunday Times Magazine with the successful and very savvy business woman Tamara Mellon, founder of luxury brand Jimmy Choo shoes. She provided this as one of her mantras – a principle that had served her well in both her personal and business life.
At its simplest, it is all about focusing on what matters most - putting your energy where you can have an influence or impact and where you can be most happy. It seems to be an almost universal human trait that in our crazy, busy, rat race lives we take on so much “stuff”, wasting energy and time trying to do everything, without stopping to think if it is even necessary. And of course too much “stuff” can so easily spiral into stress and illness. You only need to watch the behaviour of busy commuters during rush hour on a hot evening to see a melting pot of stress! Since they have no influence over the volume of traffic, the failure of the points at Clapham Junction or the road works on the M25, so why get wound up about it?
Here are my top “small stuff” tips
1: Stuff happens and sometimes it isn’t fair
2: Life is a transition – have no regrets
3: Become flexible
4: It isn’t a popularity contest – you don’t have to please everyone
5: Practice calm
6: Don’t live your life in the ER
7: Will it matter tomorrow?
As the esteemed author Steven Covey famously demonstrates in his “First things First” seminars, if you don’t tackle your big objectives first, you will never find the time to tackle them at all.
The reason people like Tamara Mellon succeed is because they focus all their energy on their “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” and do not waste their time on the small stuff – it’s a good lesson for us all.
To contact Gill McKay, please email her at