Oftentimes when we’re reviewing our lives–or even just a day or a week of our lives–and we’re trying to find where we went wrong and how things have gotten off track, we look for errors and mistakes–the Big Stuff. Many times we find them in the form of difficulties such as an unexpected bill, getting laid off or having your job downsized, or a friend or co-worker betraying you or just not being there when you needed them. When we find these things, we come up with strategies and plans of what to do to fix them.
On the surface, this sounds like a great strategy. And it works sometimes because there are phases of our lives when things outside of us go haywire and create all sorts of havoc for us.
But what about the times when we can’t really find anything that’s causing our life to feel “not right”?
That’s when we have to look at ourselves and what we’re doing–or not doing–that’s created the situation.
Oftentimes, if we can bear to be very honest with ourselves (and I highly recommend this!), we’ll find it’s the little things that we’ve done–or haven’t done–that have had a ripple effect and have inexorably led to us where we are right here and right now. And we may also find–as much as we don’t want to admit it–we may have even had a hand in the big stuff that’s seemingly totally outside our control.
Because it’s the little things.
It’s the small habits, routines, and thought patterns that are the culprit. They’re so small that we don’t notice them–or if we do notice them, we think they don’t really matter.
But they do matter because they add up and become a determining factor in whether or not we’re living the life of our dreams.
So what are some of these small things?
Perhaps you are in the habit of putting aside projects that aren’t quite completed, saying that you’ll get back to them tomorrow or next week. But you know as well as I do that it’s difficult to get back to them later on so usually the project is left incomplete. As a result, there’s a pile of papers related to the project that’s taking up space on your desk or on the end table near the chair you sit in when you watch TV. Multiply this by several projects and multiply this by weeks or months or years, and no wonder your house or office is disheveled and you can’t find anything and you don’t have room to work!
Or, perhaps you know you need to get into better shape but instead of parking at the end of the lot and walking a longer distance to your office building, you tell yourself you’re a little tired today or you’re running late so you’ll park closer today and park farther tomorrow. And you’ll take the elevator today instead of the stairs, but tomorrow…and you’re pressed for time so you grab something from the vending machine or the fast food place for lunch, but tomorrow…. And then weeks, months, years down the road you wonder why you haven’t lost weight and why you’re still out of shape.
It’s the little things.
So as you look over your week in preparing to set yourself up for a great upcoming week, search for the little things that you can tweak that DO make a big difference down the road. Then be very mindful–and very, very honest with yourself–as you follow through on these tweaks whether or not you feel like it, whether or not it’s convenient, whether or not it’s hard, whether or not it’s comfortable….
Follow through on the little things!
You can do it, I know you can!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,