Book Review: “Easier Than You Think …because life doesn’t have to be so hard: The Small Changes That Add Up to a World of Difference” by Richard Carlson

This book is about making small habit/concept change that may yield positive impact on your life. There are roughly 39 ideas on how to shift your thoughts to make your life easier/better. Most of them are common sense. A summary is as follows: A few of them stands out for me: 11. Take a vacation every day, 18. Set your expectations to zero, 19. Are you in there?, 37. Leave things as you found them and
38. Make a small difference in someone’s life every day.

1. A penny for your thoughts: a small shift in the thinking makes a whole world of difference.
2. Paving your way: questions your assumptions and stop being a creature of habit.
3. Be there for yourself: Be kind to yourself and reserve time for yourself.
4. Your life can change at a drop of a hat: Expect changes will happen and be prepared for them.
5. The most basic choice of all: Be grateful or over-extended. It’s our choice.
6. Remember the power of hope: Maintain the hope that things will be better this time.
7. I won’t go there: Don’t allow ourselves to go down the path of worry and dread.
8. Watch your thoughts: next time you become agitated, worried, harried, or simply unable to focus, step back and watch your thoughts.
9. The grass is as green as it needs to be: accept the fact that the grass is as green as it needs to be and it’s possible for us to be happy right now.
10. Take Five: Take a moment, gather yourself and responding with a clear understanding of what you can control.
11. Take a vacation every day: Set aside short period of time every day and bring fun and balance back into our lives.
12. Notice what gets you: become an observer of your reactions. Notice the source of my stress seems to send a signal to my brain that says, “Don’t worry about it.”
13. Recognize when you’re fighting reality: Ask yourself, “how is resisting concrete reality going to help? Is there any chance that fighting reality is going to make you feel better?”
14. Focus on the blessings: As negative thoughts creep into your mind, learn to let them pass and replace them with thoughts about all that’s right instead.
15. Golden pause: take one in moments of stress.
16. Plant a seed of doubt: open your mind to the possibility that there’s a different perspective to consider. An open mind is essential for true happiness.
17. Believe it or not, this too shall pass. Avoid making big decisions when your mood is down.
18. Set your expectations to zero: That way everything you see is a miracle. e.g. expect zero bonus. Once you’re done all you can, you completely let go of your expectations of the outcome.
19. Are you in there? Step forward and offer your full and absolute concentration. When you’re with someone, make that person feel as though he or she is the most important person in the world to you at that moment.
20. Find a way to laugh every day.
21. Turning on a dime: Have an open mind and willingness to make the change.
22. Lay out the welcome mat: Reach out to others and become more welcoming in whatever small way you can.
23. A small secret: use of flashcard.
24. Learn to say no: don’t over commit.
25. Stop the blame game: take responsibility for what happens in their lives – the good and the bad.
26. Be careful what you do and say: we may be influenced others.
27. First things first: focus energy and time on what’s most productive and potentially profitable.
28. Innocent until proven guilty: taking control by not letting our assumptions run our lives.
29. No more regrets: Let them pass and follow up with this thought: “I choose to believe that everything happened in my life happened for a reason. I have made good decisions that support a positive, wonderful life. I will not look back, unless it is to learn or appreciate something or to each someone else a valuable life lesson.”
30. Listen without interrupting: there is no advantage to interruption or mentally critiquing someone who’s giving your advice.
31. Save for a rainy day! Some financial advises.
32. Don’t take notes: relax and enjoy the talk. Don’t approach life wiht an intensity that obscures the bigger picture.
33. My two bits: changing our relationship to the world.
34. Give a little
35. Reading is for everyone: reading more.
36. A little kindness just might keep the doctor away.
37. Leave things as you found them.
38. Make a small difference in someone’s life every day. Create your own list of ideas and start incorporating into your life.
39. Sail way with small change.