“Don’t sweat the small stuff… and it’s all small stuff!” is a common phrase intended to help us get over the little troubles of life to help us keep an eye on the big picture. Defining the “small stuff” is ambiguous because what’s minor to me can be major to you or vice versa. For instance, I mind loaning out my personal books to people because I like to maintain their condition; my grandma on the other hand reads them and trades them in for new ones and gives them to others to read. Neither of us is more right or wrong, we’re just different. It’s also a key factor in not taking it personally. Somebody’s decisions and behavior is an aspect of what they value and where they will place their efforts. It matters to them because they deem it to be a major aspect of their life. They will do the same for you; what’s important to you may not be important to them.
Handling the little things is an important aspect of finding out who you really are so that when the big things in life come at you, you’re prepared. Apply the little lessons for what really matters because you never know when you’ll need it! Andy Andrews’s recent post equates the small things to going the extra mile. Overall success won’t happen overnight, but it will with the accumulation of paying attention to the small things. Take some time and write a list of the small things in your life and how they bother you. Next write out several action steps you can take to resolve them. While you’re writing, envision yourself at the end, especially what you hope to accomplish by solving the little problems. By identifying what you want to accomplish, you’ll help define the person you want to be. This will be your compass as you make the necessary decisions to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Being attentive to the small things is what will help you also become consistent throughout your life. Consistency also means reliability; reliability in your relationships, agreements with others, and agreements you make with yourself.
What small efforts do you pay attention to? Why? How do you hope they pay off? Or is there an instance where a small effort paid off? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!