“It’s the little things that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
-John Wooden

Sweat the small stuff.

If you read that phrase, the first thought you’ll have is, he forgot the “don’t” at the beginning of the sentence. But I didn’t.

An incident occurred last night which reiterated what I’ve always felt about life in general: never underestimate the small stuff. I approved a cover design for an anthology I’m editing.

That decision is nothing compared to the months I’ve put in going about selecting material for it, rejecting material, editing, drafting, etc. But because it was the first positive thing to happen to me in a while, I was overjoyed. I felt that at least SOMETHING went right.

And that is how I think we should approach everyday. Not simply counting our blessings, which of course should be a given, but understanding the value of the little things that gave us even a modicum of joy in another wise stressful day.

Think about this scenario. You woke up late, reached work late, spilled your coffee and dealt with a gargantuan snowball of other dolor episodes throughout the day. Now you’re sitting in traffic, ready to head home and just crash. And the traffic light turns green.

At first glance, such an incidence might seem minor. After all, that’s what a traffic light does on a constant basis. It’s supposed to change colors to let you know whether to go, stop or slow down. It’s something you experience several times a day, everyday.

And yet, each time it turns green, it’s one step forward in reaching your destination. Once you go through 10 or 12 of them consecutively, it’s a significant jump forward no matter where you’re going.

Now imagine if each time that happened, you consciously acknowledged it. As preposterous as this may sound, imagine if you told yourself “The light just turned green. That means I’m one step closer to happiness,” every time that happened.

Add it all up and at the end of the day, you’ll find that you’ve acknowledged steps towards optimism several times a day. That’s that much more optimism to contribute to your overall psyche.

On paper, it really does sound derisory and insignificant. But when looked at in totality, say at the end of the week, you’ll have a totally different outlook if this exercise is followed diligently.

Every task in life, no matter how small or big, is comprised of little steps. Even something as meager as getting a drink of water requires you (or someone else if you’re being served) to actually go and go get it. A walk to the kitchen is a step. Picking up an empty glass or a bottle is a step. Pouring it or taking a sip is a step. Pressing a button on a water fountain is a step. Now do all those things over and over and you’re suddenly hydrated.

So don’t ever underestimate the small stuff. Every big endeavor begins with the small stuff. If you overlook it, the calamity of doing so will be much bigger than the actual step. After all, the absence of even a single bead seems quite jarring when seen in a necklace. As does the smallest piece in a jigsaw puzzle or the smallest brick in a building.

How do you feel about the little things in life? Do you feel you give them enough importance? Why or why not? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

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Abuh Monday Eneojo (@mondaydpoet)
1 year ago

Truth be told. i never knew someone had said something about this before. I also believe that small things give birth to big things in the cosmos. I think i still remember when i said something of this nature to a friend in the studio and he looked at me closely for a while. It was very clear he didn’t understand what i meant so i had to explain to him. thank you for posting this.

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