In “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes,” Arthur Conan Doyle wrote: “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” I, too, believe that the little things are the most important.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression “Go big or go home.” Often times people have the mindset that if they can’t do something big, they shouldn’t do anything at all! But the truth is, the little things add up!
Whether you’re trying to build relationships, reach your goals, or serve others, those little things add up!
Let’s look at relationships… Think about the best relationship you have in your life today. It might be with a spouse or parent, a child or simply a BFF. Now think about the interactions or conversations you have with those people the majority of the time. Do you primarily talk about super serious things? Or do you make small talk? If you’re like me, it’s probably mostly small talk! I have a text group on my phone that consists of my mom, brothers, and sister. Our text strings are mostly frivolous… My brother may write to us about something funny that happened at work, or my sister may send a picture of one of her daughters in a new dress. These conversations, while seemingly unimportant, keep us continually engaged with one another all week long and they strengthen our relationships. People often under estimate the power of small talk. Small talk is what keeps the lines of communication open and flowing. With your children, if you start making small talk with them from a young age, by the time they’re teenagers, it will feel like a natural process for them to chat with you about their day, their friends, their life, and they’re much more likely to share the problems they’re experiencing.
Another way to look at this with relationships is that the little things you do for each other or the little ways you say “I love you” (by opening a door for your loved one, by writing little love notes, by texting them in the middle of the day to say “I’m thinking of you!”) are what make for a stronger relationship. Why? Because the little things add up!
The small things are also important when we’re trying to reach our goals. Often times we focus too much on BIG goals and then we get overwhelmed and we give up. This is especially true of weight loss goals. If, when I went to see my cardiologist, he said “Tina, you must lose 50 pounds!” I might say response “What?!?!?! Are you crazy!!!!! That’s impossible!” But if I set a goal for myself to lose one pound per week, that’s a pretty reasonable goal, and in less than a year that 50 pounds would be gone. For me, it was that way for college. I dropped out when I was 20 years old because I was overwhelmed with trying to go to school and work full time. EVENTUALLY, I went back and started taking one class per semester. It took me until I was 36 years old to graduate, but guess what!! My degree says the same exact thing as the people who graduated with me but had started their college careers much later! Even though it took me longer to get there, we accomplished the same goal. Why? Because the little things add up!
When you’re trying to help others – for example, giving to charities, give what you can… no matter how little. ANYTHING you can do to help is appreciated. If a million of us each donated $1 to the Make-A-Wish foundation, they’d be a million dollars closer to their goals. If a friend needs someone to drive her child to school during the six weeks she’s recovering from surgery – we might say “There’s no way I can commit to SIX weeks of chauffeuring that rugrat!” But if five of her friends help out ONE DAY per week, the job is covered. Why? Because the little things add up!
Friends, I urge you today to consider focusing more on the little things in your relationships, in your work toward your personal goals, and in your support of others. You will accomplish more than you could ever imagine! Why? Because the little things add up!!