“…every big picture is created one brush stroke at a time.” Andy Andrews.
It’s Friday morning, and with a cancelled appointment, I’m diving into my writing. There’s just something about this muddle of glowing, yellow ‘faces’ on my desk that inspired me today.
What is it? Well, they got me thinking about how the little things can make such a big, positive difference to our day – and everyone around us.
It’s that first, welcome coffee when you’re high fiving yourself after a tough, sleepless night with the little people in your world.
It’s a cute post-it note on the fridge from your other half as they head out of the door.
…a thoughtful friend calling out of the blue to check you’re ok when you’re under the weather.
The small stuff matters more than you think.
Small everyday objects, words, gestures and actions really can have a big impact on us.
On our moods. Our energy levels. Our attitude. Our output.
Today those tulips gave me a big surge of positive enthusiasm which prompted this blog post.
And it’s not just the uplifting small things in the here and now that affect us. What about further down the line?
Consider attention to detail.
Now you may think that a productive day looks like this: personal goals or ‘things to do’ being rattled off in a dynamic, visible way. But actually the reverse is often true. Never underestimate the culminative effect of small, seemingly pointless actions.
In his book ‘The Little Things’, bestselling author Andy Andrews gives the example of Leonardo da Vinci. In the sixteenth century, it was claimed that the Maestro spent approximately four long years working on his famed masterpiece; the Mona Lisa. Friends at the time mocked him endlessly for his painstaking approach with the tiniest of brush strokes.
But of course Leonardo had the last laugh. Those tiny, meticulous strokes earned him a place in the history of art.
Lesson? Nine times out of ten, our biggest achievements come from the ‘constant tiny footsteps in the right direction’ approach. As any Life Coach will confirm.
Small, steady adjustments in the world around us. ‘Edge’.
What makes us different from our competitors? From everyone else doing something similar in our chosen field?
It’s exactly the question the big boys like Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft ask themselves, as they continue to amaze us with their revised engineerings and upgrades to existing products and services.
This constantly evolving process of fine tuning new technologies might drive us, the consumers, crazy at times – but it sure helps these tech giants stand out from the crowd.
Small rituals in our day to day lives.
Consider this. How would it be if you stripped away your own handful of small, but important daily rituals?
Whether it’s writing in a journal, doing half an hour of exercise, enjoying a coffee after the school run or walking the pooch around the block at dusk….just imagine?
These regular, highly personal activities are the ones that usually set us up beautifully for our day. They’re often things we do alone, as we enjoy our quiet headspace.
You can’t diminish how much these brief little interludes of a busy life add to the overall quality of it. Whether it’s an appreciation of something inanimate – like my tulips this morning – lifting your spirits, or that little note you weren’t expecting, or even a smile from a stranger. The simple pleasures of life.
Often it’s these small things that actually define whether we’ve had a good day – or a bad one.
Going that extra mile.
Beyond your immediate world; how about that small ‘something special’ you offer in your business – paying off in new customers? Or the extra hours you’ve spent on a project for someone leading to the reward of more work or interest in what you have to offer?
“A footprint of good deeds will always repay you a thousand times.” Sarah Virág.
So don’t sweat the small, negative stuff – choose to appreciate the small, positive things.
I’d like to set you a challenge. Spend five minutes today – now if you like – thinking of five tiny aspects of your daily routine or surroundings that you couldn’t do without? Those elements of your immediate world that bring comfort and joy?
When you acknowledge what they are, ask yourself what those five things bring to your life that’s positive? Is it a daily dose of beauty? Appreciation of Nature? Gratitude for what’s good in your world? Time alone to be quiet and introspective?
And on the flip side? What can you spend an extra five minutes on today to add value to something you do? To improve your world – or that of someone else?
Small stuff matters.
Tell us what small stuff matters to you in the comments box below?