About Richard Carlson

Richard Carlson (1961 – 2006) was an American author, psychotherapist, and motivational speaker, who rose to fame with the success of his book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff” which became one of the fastest-selling books of all time.  Wikipedia


Richard Carlson (quotes)

Stop sweating the small stuff and practice peace instead


Learn to stop sweating the small stuff  

  • Learning to stop sweating the small stuff involves deciding what things to engage in and what things to ignore. From a certain perspective, life can be described as a series of mistakes, one right after another with a little space in between.
  • Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff. Robert Eliot

You are what you practice most  

  • Repeated practice is one of the most basic principles of most spiritual and meditative paths. Whatever you practice most is what you become.   
  • You are what you practice most.  

When you practice inner peace, your outer world becomes more peaceful too  

  • Your outer world—your environment, the noise level, the relative calm or chaos in your life—is usually a reflection of your inner world, the degree of peace and equanimity (or lack thereof) you experience in your mind.
  • When you have inner peace, you are less distracted by your wants, needs, desires and concerns. It’s thus easier to concentrate, focus, achieve your goals and give back to others.   
  • What comes first, a calm mind or a calm life? If you think about it, the answer, while difficult to admit, is obvious: A calm mind precedes a more peaceful outer life.

Redefine success in terms of peace and happiness; not just external accomplishments

  • Rather than being consumed exclusively with external accomplishments, try putting more emphasis on what’s really important. If being peaceful and loving are among your primary goals, then why not redefine your most meaningful accomplishments as being those that support and measure qualities such as kindness and happiness?     
  • Redefine a “meaningful accomplishment.” If being peaceful and loving are amongst your primary goals, then why not redefine your most meaningful accomplishments as being those that support and measure qualities such as kindness and happiness.

Practice living in the present


Practice living in the present moment …  

  • Living in the present moment doesn’t mean you aren’t affected by, or that you don’t learn from, your past—or that you don’t plan for tomorrow (or for retirement and so forth), only that you understand that your most effective, powerful, and positive energy is the energy of today—the energy of right now.  
  • Our feelings are extremely helpful in detecting when our mind has slipped from the present moment.

… worrying less about the future …  

  • When our attention is in the present moment, we push fear from our minds. Fear is the concern over events that might happen in the future.
  • When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future.

… and letting go of the past  

  • All of us have unlimited potential and a clean slate in this moment—now. What prevents us from tapping into this great potential is our own mental ties to the past.  
  • One of the most dynamic and significant changes you can make in your life is to make the commitment to drop all negative references to your past, to begin living now.

Practice being present and focused in what you do  

  • Block out periods of time where you commit to doing one thing at a time. Be present in what you are doing. Concentrate. Be in the moment. Even the mundane can become enjoyable. And you’ll be amazed how quickly and efficiently you’ll get things done.

Practice acceptance and contentment


Practice accepting life now, exactly as it is …  

  • One of the most important lessons to ever learn is that life is rarely exactly as we would like it to be. Instead, life is exactly as it is. Nothing more and nothing less. And the closer we come to making peace with this fact of life, the happier and less stressed we will become.
  • Acceptance of what is actually occurring in the moment is one of the ultimate forms of wisdom. It is one of the greatest stress relievers available to the human race.
  • Catch yourself when you fall into your habit of insisting that things should be other than they are. Gently remind yourself that life is okay the way it is, right now.  In the absence of your judgement, everything would be fine.  As you begin to eliminate your need for perfection in all areas of your life, you’ll begin to discover the perfection in life itself.  
  • I surrender to life as it is, not as it should be.  
  • Open your heart to “what is” instead of insisting that life be a certain way. The greater our surrender to the truth of the moment, the greater will be our peace of mind.   

… instead of complaining, wallowing and resisting  

  • 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. “It’s not fair,” we complain, not realizing that, perhaps, it was never intended to be.

Practice being happy where you are, right now  

  • Be happy where you are. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
  • Happy people know that regardless of what happened yesterday, last month, years ago—or what might happen later today, tomorrow, or next year—now is the only place where happiness can actually be found and experienced.  
  • Meanwhile, life keeps moving forward. The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?

Practice finding peace where you are, right now  

  • Something wonderful begins to happen with the simple realization that life, like an automobile, is driven from the inside out, not the other way around. As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It’s absolutely true that, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

Practice inner stillness and calm


Practice stilling the mind …  

  • A quiet mind is the foundation of inner peace. And inner peace translates into outer peace.
  • The only factor preventing us from hearing or being connected to our inner wisdom is the noise or chatter of our own thinking. When we turn the “volume” of our thinking down, we can begin to sense a deeper intelligence. This is reflection.

.. by making time to simply be  

  • Learn the art of relaxing, of just “being” rather than “doing,” for a few minutes each day. Just sit still and notice your thoughts and feelings.  For many of us, our lives are so filled with stumuli, not to mention responsibilities, that it’s almost impossible for us to sit still and do nothing. People are no longer human beings.  We should be called human doings.  

Your mind will love you for it  

  • The beauty of doing nothing is that it teaches you to clear your mind and relax. Just like your body, your mind needs an occasional break from its hectic routine.  when you allow your mind to take a break, it comes back stronger, sharper, more focused and creative.   
  • The power of calm: In matters of the mind, the more mental effort you apply to any given situation, the less will be the result.

Practice being the calm in the eye of the storm  

  • Practice being in the “eye of the storm.” The eye of the storm is that specific spot in the centre of a tornado that is calm, almost isolated from the frenzy of activity.  Commit to being the one person in the room who is going to be an example of peace. Practice breathing.  Practice listening.  What it takes is intention and practice.  You can do it if you set your mind to it.   

Practice slowing down


Practice slowing down …  

  • If we would just slow down, happiness would catch up to us.  

… by being less obsessed with constantly getting things done  

  • If you remind yourself that the purpose of life isn’t to get it all done but to enjoy each step along the way and live a life filled with love, it’s far easier to control your obsession with completing your list of things to do.    
  • If you’re obsessed with getting everything done, you’ll never have a sense of well-being! In reality, almost everything can wait.   
  • When your schedule is out of hand, it’s a signal that it’s time to slow down and re-evaluate what’s important rather than power through everything on the list. When you’re feeling out of control, rather than roll up your sleeves and “get to it,” a better strategy is to relax, take a few deep breaths and go for a short walk.
  • When we focus too much on all there is to do instead of simply doing what we can in this moment, we will feel the stress associated with such thinking.
  • Remind yourself that when you die, your “in basket” won’t be empty.  

Practice patience  

  • Become more patient. Patience adds a dimension of ease and acceptance to your life. Being patient involves opening your heart to the present moment, even if you don’t like it. Practice patience. Say “Ok, for the next five minutes I won’t allow myself to be bothered by anything. I’ll be patient.
  • Life itself becomes a classroom, and the curriculum is patience.  

Practice gratitude


Practice gratitude …  

  • Gratitude and inner peace go hand in hand. If you wake up in the morning with gratitude on your mind, it’s pretty difficult, in fact almost impossible, to feel anything but peace.  

… by celebrating what you have and obsessing less with what you don’t  

  • Learning to be satisfied doesn’t mean you can’t, don’t, or shouldn’t ever want more than you have, only that your happiness isn’t contingent on it.
  • Give up on the idea that more is better. The desire to have more and more and more is insatiable. As long as you think more is better, you’ll never be satisfied. As soon as we get something, or achieve something, most of us simply go onto the next thing. Immediately. You can learn to be happy with what you have by becoming more present moment oriented, by not focusing so much on what you want. You can spend your life time wanting more, always chasing happiness – or you can simply decide to consciously want less. The latter strategy is infinitely easier and more fulfilling.
  • Think of what you have instead of what you want. Rather than wishing your spouse were different, try thinking about her wonderful qualities.  Instead of complaining about your salary, be grateful that you have a job.  Each time you fall into the “I wish life were different” trap, take a breath and remember all you have to be grateful for.  When you focus not on what you want but what you have, you end up getting more of what you want anyway.   

Practice looking for the beautiful and extraordinary, even in the ordinary  

  • The truth is, we see in life what we want to see. If you search for ugliness, you’ll find plenty of it. If you want to find fault with other people, your career, or the world in general, you’ll certainly be able to do so. But the opposite is also true. If you look for the extraordinary in the ordinary, you can train yourself to see it.  
  • Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. We see in life what we look for.

Practice love, kindness and compassion


Practice being a source of love, instead of a needer of love  

  • Fill your life with love. Rather than waiting for other people to provide the love we desire, we must be a vision and a source of love. The starting point or foundation of a life filled with love is the desire and commitment to be a source of love.
  • Spend a moment everyday thinking of someone to love. Who shall I send love to today? Gear your mind towards love. Even if it just to wish them a day filled with love.

Practice listening …  

  • Become a better listener and a more peaceful person by slowing down your responses. Don’t fire back your response. Wait for the person you are listening to finish. You’ll notice that the pressure you feel is off.

… and breathing before you speak  

  • Breathe before you speak. Pause – breathe – after the person to whom you are speaking is finished.
  • When you breathe before you speak, you’ll be pleasantly amazed at the softer reactions and looks of surprise as you let others completely finish their thought before you begin yours. You will feel a sense of relief coming from the person to whom you are speaking—and a much calmer, less rushed feeling between the two of you.

Practice helping people  

  • Do a favour and don’t ask for, or expect, one in return. This strategy will show you how easy it is and how good it feels to do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return.

Practice affirming people  

  • Every day, tell at least one person something you like, admire or appreciate about them.  
  • Offering sincere compliments is a gesture of loving kindness. It means that your thoughts are geared toward what’s right with someone. And when your thoughts are geared in a positive direction, your feelings are peaceful.
  • Telling someone something that you like, admire, or appreciate about them is a “random act of kindness.” It takes almost no effort (once you get used to it), yet it pays enormous dividends.

Practice compassion  

  • An excellent way to practice love is to set your intention on seeing beyond someone’s behaviour or personality. Try to realize that beneath the surface insecurity, negative thinking, and poor behaviour, everyone is connected to God.  Just as you wouldn’t get angry at someone simply because he or she is in a wheelchair, you need not be angry because a person hasn’t yet opened his or her heart to the nourishment of his or her Soul.  When people act in unloving ways, it only means that they are out of touch with their Souls and aren’t feeling spiritually nourished.   
  • Compassion involves the willingness to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to take the focus off yourself and to imagine what it’s like to be in someone else’s predicament, and simultaneously, to feel love for that person.  
  • Imagine this person as a tiny infant. See their tiny little features and their innocent eyes. See the same person as a very old person who is about to die. Look at their worn-out eyes and their soft smile, which suggests a bit of wisdom and the admission of mistakes made.
  • See the innocence. Learn to be less bothered by the actions of people. Look beyond it so that we can see the innocence in where the behaviour is coming from. Underneath even the most annoying behaviour is a frustrated person who is crying out for compassion.

Practice kindness …  

  • Often a single act of kindness sets a series of kind acts in motion.  

… instead of always wanting to be right  

  • Choose being kind over being right. The reason we are tempted to put others down is that our ego mistakenly believes that if we point out how someone else is wrong, we must be right and therefore we feel better.
  • Being right is highly overrated. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
  • Being right, defending our positions, takes an enormous amount of mental energy and often alienates us from the people in our lives. Needing to be right – or needing someone else to be wrong – encourages others to become defensive, and puts pressure on us to keep defending.   
  • When you let someone else win an argument, often you both end up winners.  
  • A wonderful, heartfelt strategy for becoming more peaceful and loving is to practice allowing others the joy of being right – give them the glory. You don’t have to sacrifice your deepest philosophical truths or most heartfelt opinions, but starting today, let others be “right” most of the time!

Practice being non-judgmental …  

  • One of the cardinal rules of joyful loving is that judging others takes a great deal of energy and without exception, pulls you away from where you want to be.

… by becoming an anthropologist  

  • Become an anthropologist. Be interested, without judgement, how others choose to live and behave. This is a way of replacing judgements with loving kindness. “I see, that must be the way she sees things in her world. Very interesting.”
  • I see, that must be the way she sees things in her world. Very interesting.

More practices


Practice humility and let others take more of the glory  

  • Humility and inner peace seem to go hand in hand. The less compelled you are to try to prove yourself to others, the easier it is to feel peaceful inside.   
  • Ironically, when you surrender your need to hog the glory, the attention you used to need from other people is replaced by a quiet inner confidence that is derived from letting others have it.
  • Practice humility. The less compelled you are to try to prove yourself to others, the easier it is to feel peaceful inside. The less you care about seeking approval, the more approval you seem to get.
  • There is something magical that happens to the human spirit, a sense of calm that comes over you, when you cease needing all the attention directed toward yourself and instead allow others to have the glory.  
  • The next time someone tells you a story or shares an accomplishment with you, notice your tendency to say something about yourself in response.  

Practice accepting yourself, warts and all  

  • Accept yourself as you are right now. I may not be perfect, but I am okay just the way I am.
  • When you acknowledge the less than perfect parts of yourself, something magical begins to happen. Along with the negative, you’ll also begin to notice the positive, the wonderful aspects of yourself that you may not have given yourself credit for, or perhaps even been aware of.  

Practice getting perspective …  

  • Ask yourself this question: Will this matter a year from now?
  • During crisis or stress, remember that 100 years from now we will all be gone from this planet.

… by reminding yourself that all things come and go  

  • “This too shall pass.” Remind yourself of this bit of wisdom whenever you feel annoyed, stressed, or bothered, as well as when you are going through something terribly difficult. Life is very short. Our children are little; they grow up. We are young; we grow old. We will get through it all.
  • As we look back on our lives, it’s easy to see that all things come and go: winter, spring, summer, and fall; joy, sorrow, praise, and blame; hardship, ease, rest, and exhaustion; accomplishments, mess- ups, and all the rest. Genuine freedom and happiness come when we can see this dynamic, not only in retrospect but while we’re going through something difficult. This way, we can keep our perspective right in the midst of the chaos.
  • When you remember that all things come and go, it allows you to keep your perspective, an open heart, and even a sense of humour during all the phases of your life.

Explore other points of view and keep an open mind  

  • Read articles and books and speak to people with entirely different points of view from our own. We form opinions, then spend our whole lives validating what we believe to be true. There so much we can learn and explore.
  • Write down your five most stubborn positions and see if you can soften them.  
  • The next time you find yourself in an argument, rather than defend yourself, see if you can see the other point of view first.

Seek to understand before being understood  

  • Seeking first to understand before being understood isn’t about who’s right or wrong; it is a philosophy of effective communication. When you practice this method, you’ll notice that the people you communicate with will feel listened to, heard, and understood. This will translate into better, more loving relationships.  

See everyone as a teacher  

  • Imagine everyone you know is enlightened. The people who you meet are all here to teach you something. Perhaps the obnoxious driver or disrespectful teenager is here to teach you about patience, the punk rocker might be here to teach you to be less judgemental.
  • Your job is is to try to determine what the people in your life are trying to teach you. You’ll find that if you do this, you’ll be far less annoyed, bothered and frustrated by the actions and imperfections of other people.   

Practice making fewer promises and keeping the ones you make  

  • The advantage to making fewer promises is that the promises you do make will mean more to you and to the people you are promising. You’ll take extra care to attend to those promises that mean the most to you and those you love.  

Practice asking for what you want  

  • It’s astonishing what you can accomplish by simply asking for what you want – help, a raise, forgiveness, an idea, another chance, a break, or whatever.
  • When you ask someone to help you, you are actually doing them a tremendous favor by giving them an opportunity to feel needed.

Practice cultivating a wealth consciousness  

  • You will not suddenly develop wealth consciousness if and when you become wealthy. It’s the other way around. You develop wealth consciousness by eliminating worry, by trusting in the universe and in your own inner resources. Once you secure your wealth consciousness, true abundance is just around the corner.
  • Wealth consciousness is a state of mind, a sense, not of believing, but really knowing that what we need is available to us.

Practice using your back-burner  

  • Use your back burner. Gently hold the problem in your mind without actively analysing it. This simple technique will help you solve many problems and will greatly reduce the stress and effort in your life.

Practice letting go of your expectations and attachments to outcome  

  • Attachment creates fear that gets in your way: What if I lose? What if the deal doesn’t go through? What if I’m rejected? Your belief that everything must work out exactly as you want it to with no glitches creates enormous pressure. Nonattachment, on the other hand, works like magic. It allows you to have fun in your efforts, to enjoy the process. It takes the pressure off. You win regardless of the outcome.  
  • Learn the magic of nonattachment. Nonattachment means: “I’ll do everything possible, I’ll put the odds in my favour, I’ll work hard and concentrate. I’ll do my best to succeed. But, if I don’t, that’s okay, too.”  
  • When you let go of your expectations, when you accept life as it is, you’re free. To hold on is to be serious and uptight. To let go is to lighten up.

Make time for inner work  

  • Schedule time for inner work. If you wait until all your chores, responsibilities, and everything else is done before you get started on a program of spiritual practice, it will never happen. Guaranteed.  

Make time for exercise  

  • Regular exercise has proven benefits of releasing endorphins, which have a calming effect on the brain and in your body.
  • Get some exercise. If you don’t, you’re missing out on an easy and effective way to become happier, less reactive, and more peaceful.

Make time for reflection  

  • Reflection is one of the most underused yet powerful tools for success.  

Make time for your children  

  • Remind yourself frequently what your children really want. Let’s face it. Your kids don’t really care if you’re a flight attendant, a salesperson, a waitress, a computer expert, or a chef. No, what really matters to kids is your time—and your willingness to listen and love unconditionally. Period!  

Ask yourself the questions that really matter  

  • Success begins by listening to your inner calling and wisdom. What do you truly value and enjoy? What is your heart trying to tell you? Is there something that you have an inner need to pursue? These are the types of questions that will put you on your path toward greatness.

Let go of the need for external approval  

  • Praise and blame are all the same. You’ll never be able to please all the people all the time. Even in a landslide victory in which a candidate secures 55% of the vote, he or she is left with 45% of the population that wishes someone else were the winner. Everyone has their own set of ideas with which to evaluate life and our ideas don’t always match those of other people. The sooner we accept the inevitable dilemma of not being able to win the approval of everyone we meet, the easier our lives will become.

Learn to trust your intuition  

  • If you’re unfamiliar with trusting your intuition, start by setting aside a little quiet time to clear your mind and listen. Ignore and dismiss any habitual, self-defeating thoughts that enter your mind and pay attention only to the calm thoughts that begin to surface.  
  • Trust your intuitive heart. Open your eyes and heart to your greatest source of wisdom and grace. Set aside a little quiet time to clear your mind and listen. Pay attention only to the calm thoughts and feelings that surface.

See challenges and problems as opportunities to learn and grow  

  • In the Buddhist tradition, difficulties are considered to be so important to a life of growth and peace that a Tibetan prayer actually asks for them. It says, “Grant that I may be given appropriate difficulties and sufferings on this journey so that my heart may be truly awakened and my practice of liberation and universal compassion may be truly fulfilled.
  • When you look at life and its many challenges as a test, or series of tests, you begin to see each issue you face as an opportunity to grow, a chance to roll with the punches.
  • When a life is too easy, there are fewer opportunities for genuine growth.
  • See if you can redefine the issue you face from being a “problem” to being a test. See if there is something you can learn from it.  Ask yourself, “Why is this issue in my life?  What would it mean and what would be involved to rise above it?  Could I possibly look at this issue any differently?  Can I see it as a test of some kind?”   

Dealing with negative thoughts and habits


Stop the practice of criticising

  • If, however, you take a moment to observe how you actually feel immediately after you criticise someone, you’ll notice that you will feel a little deflated and ashamed, almost like you’re the one who has been attacked. The reason this is true is that when we criticise, it’s a statement to the world and to ourselves, “I have a need to be critical.” This isn’t something we are usually proud to admit.  
  • Resist the urge to criticize. Criticism, like swearing, is actually nothing more than a bad habit. When we criticise, it is a statement to the world and to ourselves “I have a need to be critical.”

Stop the practice of blaming  

  • Stop blaming others. Take accountability for your own happiness and for your reactions to other people. When you stop blaming others, you will regain your sense of personal power.

Stop the practice of thinking negatively all the time …  

  • We all engage in negative mental activity from time to time, and any isolated set of thoughts probably isn’t going to make much of a difference. The problem is when this type of thinking becomes a habit—so much so that we’re not even aware that we’re doing it. We simply go on practicing, practicing, and practicing some more. The question is, What are we practicing? The answer is unhappiness.  

… and replace it with a more positive perspective  

  • Try becoming aware of the types of thoughts you are having—while you’re having them. If you find that you’re narrowly focused on what’s wrong, see if you can bring some balance into the equation and think, at least some of the time, about what’s right.  

Practice not taking your negative thoughts so seriously …  

  • Notice what’s happening in your head before your thoughts have a chance to build any momentum. The sooner you catch yourself in the act of creating your mental snowball, the easier it is to stop.   
  • Practice ignoring your negative thoughts. You can analyse your thoughts, ponder, think through, study, think some more – or you can learn to ignore them – dismiss, pay less attention to, not take too seriously.
  • You can alnalyze your negative thoughts – ponder, think through, study, think some more – or you can learn to ignore them – dismiss, pay less attention to, not to take so seriously.  The latter option is infinitively more effective in terms of learning to be more peaceful.   
  • I am not a slave to my thoughts or emotions.  

… and learn to relax instead of grappling with your negative thoughts  

  • Negative thoughts do not need to be studied and analysed. Simply recognise that the reason you are feeling sad, angry, stressed or whatever is that you are sweating the small stuff. Instead of rolling up your sleeves and fighting back, back off, take a few deep breaths and relax.

Practice relaxing instead of fighting your feelings  

  • Your feelings act as a barometer, letting you know what your internal weather is like. Think of your negative feelings in the way you think of warning lights on the dashboard of your car. When flashing, they let you know it’s time to ease up. Negative feelings don’t need to be studied and analysed.  The next time you’re feeling bad, instead of getting stuck in analysis paralysis, recognize that the reason you’re feeling sad, angry, depressed is that you are taking life too seriously – you are “sweating the small stuff.”  Instead of rolling up your sleaves and fighting back, back off, take a few deep breaths and relax.   

Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by your  low moods  

  • Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by your low moods. People do not realise that their moods are always on the run. They think instead that their lives have suddenly become worse in the past day, or even the last hour. A low mood is not the time to analyse your life. In low moods, we lose our perspective and everything seems urgent. Life is almost never as bad as it seems when you’re in a low mood. The trick is to be grateful for our good moods and graceful in our low moods – not taking them to seriously.  
  • When you are in a low mood, don’t make important business (or life) decisions. Don’t force it. Your thinking and wisdom are not as sound as they will be in a higher state of mind.

More thoughts 

  • Being more relaxed involves training yourself to respond differently to the dramas of life—turning your melodrama into a mellow- drama.
  • Buy something new, let something go.  
  • Count to ten. When you feel yourself getting angry or stressed, take a deep inhalation and relax your body. Count from one to ten, breathing and relaxing each time.
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt.  
  • Life is too important to take too seriously  
  • Reading is a gift. It’s something you can do almost anytime and anywhere. It can be a tremendous way to learn, relax, and even escape. So, enough about the virtues of reading. Time to read on.  
  • Research shows that material purchases only boost your happiness levels temporarily. Experiences bring more overall joy. Enjoy safari holidays, learn a language, join a dancing group.  
  • Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.  
  • The shortest distance between two points is an intention.
  • The trick to becoming an effective meditator is to be gentle on yourself and to be consistent.
  • Two workers were approached by a reporter and asked what they were doing. The first worker replied that he was a virtual slave, an underpaid bricklayer who spent his life wasting his time, placing bricks on top of one another. The second worker replied, “I’m the luckiest person in the world. I get to be part of important and beautiful pieces of architecture. I help to turn simple pieces of brick into exquisite masterpieces.
  • When in doubt about whose turn it is to take out the trash, go ahead and take it out.  
  • The old adage, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’ isn’t always correct. In fact, the suspicion, cynicism, and doubt that are inherent in this belief can and does keep people from taking advantage of excellent opportunities.