Little Things Matter A Lot

My nephew Charlie Ware cuddled freely until the age of seven or eight. After that, he got cooler and shunned outright shows of affection. One day, the family legend holds, his dad Scott was leaving for work and said, “Charlie, it sure would make a big difference in my day if I could start it off with just a little hug from you.” Charlie, in his coolness but resigned to the task, walked over to Scott and smirkingly gave him a squeeze saying, “Little hug, big difference.”

That’s my message for today. Today, which also happens to be my birthday. A big birthday! Just one day, but a whole new decade. For the purposes of triathlons and racing, a whole new age group. Little day, big difference!

In the process of change, little things matter a lot. In fact, they are everything. When we decide we want to change something about how we live, resistance always plays a role. Even as there’s something within us that wants the change, there are also internal forces that want to keep things the same, protected, predictable and comfortable. And those are fine impulses, to be paid recognition. The change comes from making small negotiations and shifts from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

Take for example this little post. It’s been a long time since I wrote here. Last year took my energy elsewhere for very good reasons. Now I’m beginning to come back to my work, which at times, feels like an overwhelming thing to take on. In the face of that monumental task, it’s a relief to remember that little things (a class design, or a phone call, or a blog entry) are what take me there.

When change is hard, remind yourself that little things matter a lot.  Join me in doing something little today in the direction of a change you want to make. What is a tiny, trivial thing you can do right now to move yourself in the direction you want to go? Do that thing.