richard carlson on keeping score

When in Doubt about Whose Turn It Is to Take Out the Trash Go Ahead and Take It Out

If we’re not careful, it’s easy to become resentful about all the responsibilities of daily living. Once, in a very low mood, I figured out that on an average day, I do over 1,000 different things. Of course, when I’m in a better mood, that number is significantly lower.

As I think about it, it’s astounding to me how easy it is for me to remember all the chores that I do, as well as all the other responsibilities that I take care of. But, at the same time, it’s easy for me to forget all the things that my wife does on a daily basis. How convenient!

It’s really difficult to become a contented person if you’re keeping score of all you do. Keeping track only discourages you by cluttering your mind with who’s doing what, who’s doing more, and so forth. If you want to know the truth about it, this is the epitome of “small stuff.” it will bring you far more joy to your life to know that you have done your part and someone else in your family has one less thing to do, than it will to worry and fret over whose turn it is to take out the trash.

The strongest argument against this strategy is the concern that you’ll be taken advantage of. This mistake is similar to believing it’s important that you’re right. Most of the time it’s not important that you’re right, and neither is it important if you take the trash out a few more times than your spouse or housemate. Making things like garbage less relevant in your life will undoubtedly free up more time and energy for truly important things.


express love: richard carlson

Tell Three People (Today) How Much You Love Them
Author Stephen Levine asks the question, “If you had an hour to live and could make only one phone call – who would you call, what would you say, and why are you waiting?” What a powerful message!
Who knows what we are waiting for? Perhaps we want to believe we will live forever, or that “someday” we will get around to telling the people we love how much we love them. Whatever the reasons, most of us simply wait too long.
As fate would have it, I’m writing this strategy on my grandmother’s birthday. Later today, my father and I are driving out to visit her grave site. She died about two years ago. Before she passed away, it became obvious how important it was to her to let her family know how much she loved us all. It was a good reminder that there is no good reason to wait. Now is the time to let people know how much you care. Ideally, you can tell someone in person or over the phone. I wonder how many people have been on the receiving end of a phone call where the caller says, “I just called to tell you how much I love you!” You may be surprised that almost nothing in the world means so much to a person. How would you like to receive the same message?
If you’re too shy to make such a phone call, write a heartfelt letter instead. Either way, you may find that as you get used to it, letting people know how much you love them will become a regular part of your life. It probably won’t shock you to know that, if it does, you’ll probably begin receiving more love as a result.

Should you fight ? by richard carlson

Choose Your Battles Wisely

“Choose your battles wisely” is a popular phrase in parenting but is equally important in living a contented life. It suggests that life is filled with opportunities to choose between making a big deal out of something or simply letting it go, realizing it doesn’t really matter. If you choose your battles wisely, you’ll be far more effective in winning those that are truly important.

Certainly there will be times when you will want or need to argue, confront, or even fight for something you believe in. Many people, however, argue, confront, and fight over practically anything, turning their lives into a series of battles over relatively “small stuff.” There is so much frustration in living this type of life that you lose track of what is truly relevant.

The tiniest disagreement or glitch in your plans can be made into a big deal if your goal (conscious or unconscious) is to have everything work out in your favor. In my book, this is nothing more than a prescription for unhappiness and frustration.
The truth is, life is rarely exactly the way we want it to be, and other people often don’t act as we would like them to.

Moment to moment, there are aspects of life that we like and others that we don’t. There are always going to be people who disagree with you, people who do things differently, and things that don’t work out. If you fight against this principle of life, you’ll spend most of your life fighting battles.

A more peaceful way to live is to decide consciously which battles are worth fighting and which are better left alone. If your primary goal isn’t to have everything work out perfectly but instead to live a relatively stress-free life, you’ll find that most battles pull you away from your most tranquil feelings. Is it really important that you prove to your spouse that you are right and she is wrong, or that you confront someone simply because it appears as though he or she has made a minor mistake?
Does your preference of which restaurant or movie to go to matter enough to argue over it? Does a small scratch on your car really warrant a suit in small claims court? Does the fact that your neighbor won’t park his car on a different part of the street have to be discussed at your family dinner table? These and thousands of other small things are what many people spend their lives fighting about. Take a look at your own list. If it’s like mine used to be, you might want to reevaluate your priorities.
If you don’t want to “sweat the small stuff,” it’s critical that you choose your battles wisely. If you do, there will come a day when you’ll rarely feel the need to do battle at all.

Some Select Self-Help Book Toppers that could change your life

“Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss

"As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen

"Ask and It Is Given" by Esther and Jerry Hicks

"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand

"Awaken the Giant Within" by Anthony Robbins

"Beyond Survival" by Gerald Coffee

"Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell

"Building the Bridge As You Walk On It" by Robert E Quinn

"Built to Last" by James C Collins and Jerry IPorras

"Clear Leadership" by Gervase Bushe

"Conversations with God" by Neale DonaldWalsch

"Crucial Conversations" by Kerry Patterson

"Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson and Kristine Carlson

"Embracing Change" by Tony Buzan

"Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman

"Execution: the Discipline of Getting ThingsDone" by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

"Facilitation" by Trevor Bentley

"Finding Your Strength In Difficult Times" byDavid Viscott

"First Break All the Rules" by Curt Coffman and Marcus Buckingham

"First Things First" by Stephen Covey

"Follow Your Heart" by Andrew Matthews

"Future Shock" by Alvin Toffler

"Getting Things Done" by David Allen

"Getting to Yes" by Roger Fischer and WilliamUry

“Good to Great" by Jim Collins

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" byDale Carnegie

"How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" byDale Carnegie

"Illusions" by Richard Bach

"I’m OK, You’re OK" by Thomas Harris

"In Search of Excellence" by Tom Peters andRobert Waterman

"Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach

"Killing Sacred Cows" by Garrett Gunderson

"Lateral Thinking" by Edward de Bono

"Leadership and Self-Deception" by The Arbinger Institute

"Lessons from the Monkey King" by Arthur F Carmazzi

"Love Is the Killer App" by Tim Sanders

"Love Leadership" by John Bryant

"Made to Stick" by Chip and Dan Heath

"Man’s Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl

"Many Lives, Many Masters" by Brian Weiss

"Now Discover Your Strengths" by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O Clifton

"Our Iceberg is Melting" by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber

"Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell

"Psychocybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz

"Purple Cow" by Seth Godin

"Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

"Rules of the Red Rubber Ball" by Kevin Carroll

"Stumbling on Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert

"Talent Is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin

"Thanks: the Science of Gratitude" by Robert Emmons

"The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success" by Brian Tracy

"The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John Maxwell

"The 360 Degree Leader" by John Maxwell

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R Covey

"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho

"The Art of Effortless Living" by Ingrid Bacci

"The Art of Joyful Living" by Swami Rama

“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron

"The Celestine Prophecy" by James Redfield

"The Education of Little Tree" by Forrest Carter

"The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand

"The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz

“The Goal” by Eliyahu M Goldratt

"The Greatest Miracle in the World" by Og Mandino

"The Greatness Guide" by Robin Sharma

"The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch

"The Law of Attraction" by Michael Losier

"The Magic of Thinking Big" by David Schwartz

"What Did You Say?" by Charles N Seashore,Edith Whitfield Seashore, and Gerald M Weinberg

"What Got You Here Won’t Get You There" by Marshall Goldsmith

"Who Moved My Cheese?" by Spencer Johnson

"Who’s Got Your Back?" by Keith Ferrazzi

"Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?" by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones

"You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay

"You Can Negotiate Anything" by Herb Cohen

"You Can Win" by Shiv Khera

"Your Erroneous Zones" by Wayne Dyer

is life fair?

Surrender to the Fact that Life Isn’t Fair
A friend of mine, in response to a conversation we were having about the injustices of life, asked me the question, “Who said life was going to be fair, or that it was even meant to be fair?” Her question was a good one. It reminded me of something I was taught as a youngster: Life isn’t fair. It’s a bummer, but it’s absolutely true. Ironically, recognizing this sobering fact can be a very liberating insight.

One of the mistakes many of us make is that we feel sorry for ourselves, or for others, thinking that life, should be fair, or that someday it will be. It’s not and it won’t. When we make this mistake we tend to spend a lot of time wallowing and/or complaining about what’s wrong with life. We commiserate with others, discussing the injustices of life.
“It’s not fair,” we complain, not realizing that, perhaps, it was never intended to be.

One of the nice things about surrendering to the fact that life isn’t fair is that it keeps us from feeling sorry for ourselves by encouraging us to do the very best we can with what we have. We know it’s not “life’s job” to make everything perfect, it’s our own challenge. Surrendering to this fact also keeps us from feeling sorry for others because we are reminded that everyone is dealt a different hand, and everyone has unique strengths and challenges. This insight has helped me to deal with the problems of raising two children, the difficult decisions I’ve had to make about who to help and who I can’t help, as well as with my own personal struggles during those times that I have felt victimized or unfairly treated. It almost always wakes me up to reality and puts me back on track.

The fact that life isn’t fair doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything in our power to improve our own lives or the world as a whole. To the contrary, it suggests that we should. When we don’t recognize or admit that life isn’t fair, we tend to feel pity for others and for ourselves. Pity, of course, is a self-defeating emotion that does nothing for anyone, except to make everyone feel worse than they already do. When we do recognize that life isn’t fair, however, we feel compassion for others and for ourselves. And compassion is a heartfelt emotion that delivers loving-kindness to everyone it touches. The next time you find yourself thinking about the injustices of the world, try reminding yourself of this very basic fact. You may be surprised that it can nudge you out of self-pity and into helpful action.
richard carlson

uncondtional love

Be the First One to Act Loving or Reach Out

So many of us hold on to little resentments that may have stemmed from an argument, a misunderstanding, the way we were raised, or some other painful event. Stubbornly, we wait for someone else to reach out to us -believing this is the only way we can forgive or rekindle a friendship or family relationship.
An acquaintance of mine, whose health isn’t very good, recently told me that she hasn’t spoken to her son in almost three years. “Why not?” I asked. She said that she and her son had had a disagreement about his wife and that she wouldn’t speak to him again unless he called first. When I suggested that she be the one to reach out, she resisted initially and said, “I can’t do that. He’s the one who should apologize.” She was literally willing to die before reaching out to her only son. After a little gentle encouragement, however, she did decide to be the first one to reach out. To her amazement, her son was grateful for her willingness to call and offered an apology of his own. As is usually the case when someone takes the chance and reaches out, everyone wins.

Whenever we hold on to our anger, we turn “small stuff” into really “big stuff” in our minds. We start to believe that our positions are more important than our happiness. They are not. If you want to be a more peaceful person you must understand that being right is almost never more important than allowing yourself to be happy. The way to be happy is to let go, and reach out. Let other people be right. This doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. Everything will be fine. You’ll experience the peace of letting go, as well as the joy of letting others be right. You’ll also notice that, as you reach out and let others be “right,” they will become less defensive and more loving toward you. They might even reach back. But, if for some reason they don’t, that’s okay too. You’ll have the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your part to create a more loving world, and certainly you’ll be more peaceful yourself.


He had been all that I always wanted to be, but never could be. He was all that I never wished to be, but could have been. best friend. worst enemy. who is He ? or is it  She?