The Little Things We Do

SMALL differences can make BIG differences

What's the difference between one second and 4/10th's of a second? Not very much. It's just 6/10th's of a second. Wouldn't you agree that's a SMALL difference? Yet, that small difference was all it took to change our beliefs on what is possible. You see, until 54 years ago, all the experts believed it was not possible for a human to run a mile under four minutes.

But Roger Bannister distinguished himself from other runners by taking the SMALL step of asking himself a question, "If it's possible to run a mile in four minutes, why can't it be done just a LITTLE faster?" Common sense told him it was possible. Armed with this new belief, he proved to be correct by running a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds on May 6, 1954. What was thought to be impossible is now a common event. In fact, since that day, roughly 200,000 other people have done it!

It's just a SMALL matter, but Roger Bannister eliminated certain words from his mind, thoughts, and vocabulary. Words like "impossible, can't be done, too difficult, hard, don't know how," or anything else that would have prevented him from moving forward. Wouldn't that SMALL shift in thinking make a BIG difference in our lives?

Yes, LITTLE differences can make BIG differences. Here's another example. What's the difference between 211° F and 212° F? It's just one degree, but 212° F is the boiling point of water at standard pressure. So what? Well, 211° F makes a nice cup of tea, but 212° F is enough power to propel a 750,000 lb steam locomotive!

Of the millions of books that are available, ONE of them could change your life. It could free you from the prison of limited beliefs and allow you to rise to yet undreamed of heights. That book may be Bob Proctor's "You Were Born Rich." To find out whether it is or not, you can download this classic, 245-page book for free here: After the file opens, click on the second icon from the left on the toolbar. The first icon is for the printer, the second icon is to save the book to your computer. This SMALL suggestion could have a HUGE impact in the life of a reader.

A LITTLE reading of inspirational material each day can pay ENORMOUS dividends. Fifteen minutes a day is all it takes to transform your life. Although I should add, just holding a book and reading the words on the pages is not enough. You have to consider what you read and then integrate it into your life why acting on it. Make it a part of you.

It may seem like 15 minutes a day is not enough to change one's life. Yet, even a minute a day spent on inspirational quotations can lead to transformation. For example, after reading and considering "You'll never fail if you never quit" one may have an "Aha!" or "Eureka!" experience. That is, they may finally get it, realizing there is no such thing as failure, unless you decide to quit.

Why do so many companies have low morale among the staff? If management were to do SMALL things such as smile, pat employees on the back, thank them for their help, and give recognition when it's due, you would see a great boost in morale. LITTLE things mean A LOT.

What's the difference between looking forward or backward, up or down, to the right or to the left? Not very much; it just needs a SMALL adjustment. Yet, SMALL adjustments in how we view the world have SIGNIFICANT effects. When we get up in the morning, we not only decide what clothing to wear, but what attitude to have. Granted, for most of us, we just act out of habit, so we don't think of it as a choice. But it is. We don't have to act as robots. We can stop and think before we act and choose our attitude.

We can complain about the rain or be grateful for the free carwash. We can view the obstacles and challenges we face during the day as a pain or see them as training for a better, more powerful life. Instead of viewing others with suspicion or as a threat, we can see everyone as our teacher, for we can learn from everyone. It's all how we look at things. But how we look at things spells the difference between happiness and misery. It's just as easy to look for the good as it is to look for the bad. That being so, does it make any sense to look for the bad?

In a rapidly changing world, some panic about change and uncertainty. But aren't the changes swirling around us full of surprises? Doesn't that make life a surprise party, something to celebrate? Sure, we are standing at the precipice of the unknown, but doesn't that make life an adventure? That should fill you with thrills, not dread. Can you see how a SMALL shift in the direction we choose to look can make the difference between leading a life full of fear or full of joy? The differences between champions and mediocre men and women are those SMALL shifts in viewpoint.

When ordinary people are working on a project, they look at the calendar and say, "I have 30 days to get the job done." But successful people looking at the same calendar say, "There are only as many days in a month as I choose to use. Wasted days don't count, so I don't waste any." This SLIGHT shift in mindset results in high productivity and low stress.

Spending ten minutes each evening preparing for the next day can reap HUGE benefits. Here's a SMALL and simple plan that can benefit almost everyone.

1. Write down the six most important things you must do the next day.

2. Rearrange the items on your list in their order of priority, with the most important item on the top.

3. The next day, start with the most important item, and work on it until you complete the task. Take care of voicemail, e-mail, and distractions in the space between tasks. Work on each task without interruption.

4. Following this plan forces you to focus on what is important. Try to do everything on the list, and more if possible. If you were unable to complete everything, at least you know you did what is most important.

What do you think? Can that plan be helpful? If you don't think so, you may need a SMALL shift in your thinking. After all, American Industrialist and steel magnate Charles Michael Schwab (1862 ~ 1939) paid efficiency expert Ivy Lee $25,000 for that plan. Schwab felt the increase in productivity brought about by the plan make it well worth the cost. This SMALL simple plan continues to help others, and it may help you.

The LITTLE things we do are important because how we do anything is how we do everything. If we are sloppy and thoughtless with small tasks, we'll treat major projects the same way. Conversely, if we are careful with how we handle the smallest of tasks, we'll be careful with the greatest as well. How we do anything is how we do everything. If you make SMALL things count, others will be able to count on you.

© Chuck Gallozzi
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