Be faithful in small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.
– Mother Teresa of Calcutta
One of the great secrets in life is doing the “small things” well and doing them consistently – it’s chopping wood and carrying water each day. In the final analysis, it’s being brilliant on the basics that matter the most, and this principle applies to both our personal and professional lives. And make no mistake about it, our careers and our personal lives are inescapably linked. If we are struggling with one, the other will suffer.
What really amazes me is that we will create and execute a fabulous plan for achieving our goals, achieve them, and then cease doing those things that made us successful in the first place! With full transparency, I, too, had fallen prey to this phenomenon in the past. Perhaps boredom sets in and we feel compelled to chase that “new and shiny” object.
I have discovered that the things which lead to success require discipline and structure. We must be faithful and consistent with the seemingly small tasks. And a recurring failure to do so is covertly sinister; it does not happen all at once, but rather, it is a creeping erosion that ultimately results in a wake-up call. We stop going to the gym and eating well, or we fail to tell our spouse how much that he/she is cherished each day, we fail to offer empowering words to our children, and we neglect our businesses and create unnecessary financial problems. I have come to know that financial pressure magnifies every other challenge we are facing.
Whenever a client of mine is struggling with being consistently brilliant on the basics, it is simply a matter of getting back to those basics. When we decide to “get back on the beam,” it is only a matter of time until we will be back on solid ground.
It is not what we do occasionally that matters; it is what we do every day that will have the greatest positive impact – I am fond of saying “Get out there – chop wood, carry water, and do it like you mean it!” Doing the small things well and consistently is where will encounter the very best version of ourselves!
Today, I will make the commitment to be faithful in the small things, both in my professional life and in my personal life.
© John G. 2021