Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on July 14, 2009

Today: A simple way to reduce your stress and live a happier life.

“THIS COUNTRY IS FALLING APART,” screamed a 65 ish woman.

“What’s wrong Judy,” I asked.

“I SENT A BOOK TO SOMEONE IN NEW YORK,” she yelled. “AND IT’S NOW MORE THAN THREE WEEKS LATE,” her loud, high pitched voice echoing in the parking garage where we were standing.

“I called the post office and the INCOMPETENT PERSON I got was NO HELP. I’m trying to get that person FIRED!”

She was pacing back and forth in anger; her eyes bulging like mini-golf balls. She was breathing so hard, it sounded like she’d just run a 100 meter sprint.

“I’m sorry this happened to you,” I said, “But it’s not worth getting so upset about.”

Worried she might have a stroke and trying to calm her down, I said, “I’ll buy another copy for you. And if you give me the name and address of the person you sent the first book to I’ll even send the new copy for you.”

“HA!” she hollared. “That book cost $75 DOLLARS!”

Judy is a wealthy woman who travels the world, owns multiple homes and collects expensive art.

“That’s okay,” I replied, surprised the book cost so much, as my mind screamed, 75 BUCKS! But thinking it was worth it to protect her health I said, “I’ll take care of it.”

Hearing that, her eyes narrowed as she stared right through me and she tightened every muscle in her face. Then without saying a word, she whirled around and stormed off.

“Judy,” I called out, “I’m willing to help you. It’s not worth getting this angry over a book.” But she said nothing, as she jumped into her car, slammed the door behind her and her tires squealed as she sped out of the garage.

We didn’t see each other again for about three weeks until we met again in that garage. She was smiling and didn’t utter a word about the prior incident.

“Did you ever find that book,” I asked. “Oh yes,” she replied smiling at me. “It turned out the doorman had it all along and had misplaced it. But he found it and gave it to my friend.”

That’s all Judy said about it. She then began discussing an opera she attended the prior evening.

Afterward, I thought of how she tried to have that postal worker fired because that person had not been able to find her book and wondered if she had tried to remove the black mark her compliant caused from that person’s personnel file. Did she even apologize?

And I thought about her priorities. To her, “This country is falling apart,” didn’t mean the economic crisis or the wars or all the sick children without health insurance. It was all about a lost book, and one that could be easily replaced.

Judy is actually a nice person who got stressed over a minor incident. Many people do.

I recall getting upset because a sales clerk overcharged me on a grocery bill. Then I realized how foolish it is to get stressed over nothing. She’d made a mistake and I’d never miss the money. So I smiled, relaxed and went on with my life.

Other people get upset over something similar or because someone left dirty dishes in the sink or because a clerk was rude to them.

They forget to count their blessings: such as the loved ones in their lives, their good health, and a sense of purpose, a nice home, plenty of food, a paycheck and other things that matter.

So what is a simple way to reduce your stress and live a happier life? What I’ll share with you has made a big difference in my life and could in yours as well.

Once a day, and once more if an incident upsets you, lay face down on the floor for 5 minutes. This will download the weight from your spine and relax your muscles. I use a small pillow for my head and remove my shoes and use one for my feet.

Then slowly inhaling and exhaling through your nose, count your breaths. Focus on the count, not problems. After 5 minutes you will feel calmer and find it easier to resolve any issues as you have a more balanced less emotional perspective.

By investing just 5 minutes, you can reduce your stress and live a happier life. It could be the best investment you will ever make.

Success Tip of the Week: Why let stress harm you and potentially shorten your life? You will even make better decisions when you make them calmly and more rationally.

In the next KazanToday: The magic in a child’s heart.

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!