This is a tough one! I would have to say the best piece of advice I received was when I was 18 years old. It was from my Great Grandmother, and it was, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff.’ At the time, I held on and treasured that nugget of life advice, although I didn’t yet know the significance of it to my life or even how to fully apply it.
Twenty-five years later, it is sort of a life mantra of mine now. In her years of wisdom, about 90+ at that point, she understood that life is full of obstacles. The magnitude of most being within our attitude about them. When we focus on the positives and possibilities, the obstacles become opportunities, which eliminates the first layer of stress. As we move through those now opportunities, we can continue to choose to focus on the primary factors of the situation, allowing the ‘small stuff’ to fall away with grace and ease. This becomes like a natural elixir to stress.
I don’t think she knew how much the world would change from what she had known within my lifetime or how valuable this mental life approach would be. Specifically to a world full of demand, distraction, and record historical events. Unfortunately, it took my own hard lessons on stress before I grasped the meaning within that direct statement of, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff.’ However, because of my own life experience and her golden advice, I can live the second century of my life with a better ease about life and greater balance against the mechanisms that pull us into stress.