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The Cameron Method - Newsletter Archive

11 March, 1998 - Don't Sweat The Small Stuff -- The Paradox of Power

Richard Carlson's powerful best seller, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and It's All Small Stuff, reiterates the paradox that we all must confront in our perceptions of life. We get caught in our desires as well as our fears and these desires and fears can become BIG STUFF. They grow as we concentrate on them. They stay "big stuff" as we worry and fret about them... or "sweat" them.

There is also an older marvelous book we recommend, (published in 1987) titled Paradox of Power by Mark Thurston which probes in more philosophical depth into the theme of using our will and power.

A fact we must confront as we deal with our desires, our problems, our successes, and our failures is that there is an element that goes beyond goal setting. It goes beyond focusing on what you want and charging ahead to "make it so."

Yes, we must have a direction to go where we want to go, but the trap that many fall into is compulsive striving. We become obsessed with "getting there." And this road can lead to burnout and failure. The famous philosopher, Santayana pointed out that a fanatic is one who redoubles his efforts when he has forgotten his goal.

Recently, I (Sharon) was visiting with a friend who was at the end of a long painful disease and dying process. She had been mentally ready to go for a long time. From her point of view, an interminable time. She asked me to look into what might be going wrong, and why she couldn't seem to let go when she so very much wanted to.

As I researched the subject, I finally found a reference in Final Exit, by Derek Humphry. He wrote about a case of an eighty-eight year old patient slowly and painfully dying (as my friend was doing). Her daughter finally "suggested to her the possibility that her fighting to die might be life asserting. She then relaxed more and repeated: 'I am at peace.' As the days passed she often stated that she felt very lucky to be experiencing feelings of love and good will to all." She was able to pass on in peace the way she wanted to. This also happened for our dear friend.

This problem of getting stuck can be seen in various seeming failures in life from weight loss to hanging onto old situations or relationships you really want to let go of. Consider how often you don't get the desired results with intense diets and exercise.

When you do make some changes, it may not seem right. "I didn't lose enough." Or, "I might as well eat the old way because this new way doesn't work anyway." Just a couple of slips can throw you back to the old habit again--accompanied by guilt. And then there is more emotional upset, assuaged by candy bars or junk food. Stop!

In a relationship it sounds more like this, "At least I know this person. If I let go of this one, I might not find another. I'd better hang on a little longer." And in fighting a career change it is the same issue. "I might not find a better situation, so I'd better hang on!"

Use your will to let go of any block in your way. Find the courage to use your desire to your advantage. Research your options carefully. Then... do it! Remember, your strength will be tested whatever you do in this life, so you may as well be tested attempting to do what you truly want to do--something that you'll feel is worth it.

Use The Releasing Strategy to help with this.

Say aloud:

Have a great day,
Sharon and Clark Cameron

The Cameron Group
Helping People Create Attitudes That Work For Them


"Attitude makes all the difference!"

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