LearnOne tip for making life more fun

writes on January 21, 2007

The other day my wife Gill and I were out shopping over lunch. The town center was packed and it was starting to get a little hectic.

I’m a pretty chilled out guy and I rarely get angry at folks. However, a fellow shopper did something to annoy me (I can’t remember exactly what) and I felt myself getting agitated and annoyed.

Then it hit me – how much of my life would I waste if I let stupid things piss me off? By getting frustrated or annoyed at something small, I’ve just lost five minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. They’re gone. And was it worth it? Nope.

So whenever I’m tempted to get annoyed at something stupid and meaningless, I just force myself to smile and think of something I’m thankful for. This always seems to work and I’m transformed from being grumpy, to thankful and cheerful.

If I make a concerted effort to do this my whole life, I’ll change years worth of being annoyed and agitated, to being cheerful and thankful. What a deal!

(By the way, that freaky photo of me is when Gill and I went to Boston during Holloween. If you’ve never been there, try to go at some point. It’s amazing.)

0 Responses to “One tip for making life more fun”

  1. Also tell how do you lose five minutes of your life.

  2. Sorry Ryan but just to tell it’s not very explaining maybe you should think of a essay how to explain such as a explanatory essay!
    But as I said it does work for me.

  3. You Ryan very precise because now I always have a great day and when I come back home I have a big smile on my face!!

  4. Totally agree with you Ryan. Also, try to think of a happy/funny moment everyday you wake up in the morning, it will make the rest of your day a lot better 🙂 It works for me!

  5. I like to call this my “doop-dee-doo” approach.

    Or, to quote a smart fish, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

  6. Hi Ryan,

    This is off topic but…

    I once saw a photo of your offices, and it looked like you were using an interesting arrangement of the work space, whhere everyone was sharing a space, almost like sitting around a family dinner table. In a future article, please consider writing about this and the effect such a layout has (if any) on productivity. Sorry if you’ve done this and I missed.

  7. Ryan Carson on January 24, 2007 at 6:13 am said:

    I believe that building up anger and frustrations isnâ€t good for anybody, no matter how much you tell yourself that it isnâ€t bothering you.

    True, but some things just aren’t worth getting mad about 🙂

  8. Keepin it positive in 2007.

  9. I agree with the Arne above. I’m also pretty chill and easy going, but when I do get mad, it does feel pretty good. (I only really get angry a few times a year 🙂

    I believe that building up anger and frustrations isn’t good for anybody, no matter how much you tell yourself that it isn’t bothering you. Being angry isn’t a waste of time; it’s much needed therapy. I just don’t let it last too long, or act on my anger. That’s what works for me anyway…

  10. Hmm being annoyed, agitated and pissed off sometimes feels good. just know little padawan, there can be no light without shadows.
    so sometimes being angry just help. get yourself a punching bag and let it flow. just feels as good as being just happy and thankful, all the time 😀

  11. reminds me of “serenity now, insanity later” 🙂


  12. Great piece of advice, what’s the point of getting stressed over stupid things!

    However, I would add to this by saying don’t go shopping in City’s/ Town’s at peak time, i.e. Saturdays. I’ve found this works a treat and makes life much less stressful (I think my girlfriend appreciates this more than me!) and gives me more time to do the things I enjoy; gardening & walking.

  13. Ha, I love doing this when in traffic and people are honking and getting each other riled up (imagine that in the heat of the summer!).

  14. You describe a practical example of Stoicism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoicism), which I’ve been trying to live for many years now.

    I’d like to live a long and happy life, so I won’t let stupid people and other things that I can’t change anyway steal away even only minutes from my lifespan. There are many things that just aren’t worth it and it’s way better to save that energy for the few things that are.

    Being a stoic, though, tends to upset other people even more when they get worked up by something and you just don’t. 🙂

  15. Well Death certainly lashed out and let life get to him.

    I think the phrase “taking offense” is really interesting. It implies – correctly in my opinion – that offense is something that is created by the person being offended. So I try not to take things personally, and “let them go”. Works well (for me).

  16. I try to do this whenever I can but after a while all those bad feelings get pent up and you’re left with a lovely smiley exterior and a bitter, tiwsted interior. Everyone’s got to have a way of venting this. I find going to the gym really calms my nerves – all that extra energy is just used up pushing weights or running. Then you leave refreshed and ready for Celebrity Big Brother/other generic “reality” TV shows.

  17. When someone does something that gets me all riled up I just remind myself that no other person can *make* me feel any particular way. I hold the keys to how I feel. Just like you say, you can choose to let an annoyance or anger fade away to be replaced by contentment or joy.

    I realize it’s much easier said than done, but just knowing that you can have this kind of control over your own emotions and reactions is pretty powerful.

  18. Yes, this is great advice. The biggest place I’ve found this tip has impact is on the Internet. If someone says something dumb and you start writing a lengthy missive correcting them.. you’ve already lost. The only time it’s worth it is if they’re lying about you or are otherwise causing real harm (rather than just being a jackass).

    Of course, I could just be wasting my energy writing this comment too, but I’m hoping that if my ‘here, here!’ comment encourages just one less person to leave a snarky response on Digg/Slashdot/wherever, it will have been worth it 🙂

  19. Ryan Carson on January 21, 2007 at 7:20 pm said:

    Sounds like something a “YEEHAAA!” self-help speaker might say, but i like the idea 🙂

    Yeeehaaaa! 😉

  20. That’s similar the “90% / 10% Principal” (http://www.humanxpression.co.uk/he/about/articles/the-90-10-principal.shtml).

    Shit happens that you can’t control (the 10%); but you can control your reaction (the 90%).

    Sounds like something a “YEEHAAA!” self-help speaker might say, but i like the idea :).

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