It is the small things that make the difference. The past week I posted on how to break recurring patterns and mentioned that it is consistently doing the new pattern that will help you establish it. Patterns, habits, life – all of it have one thing in common –it starts will the little things.
As a mum I know that only too well. The little things are clean underwear, clean dishes, making sure your toddler brushed his teeth, preparing meal after meal after meal, vacuuming where you vacuumed just last week, dusting the furniture after you dusted it last week. (Someone please tell me where the incubator for dust bunnies is!) Please do not forget about the shower screen that keeps making the lime scale spots after you have scrubbed yourself into a tennis elbow and sprayed the “no more rain” on!
At work it is also the little things that count. Being on time, being friendly, doing the job that you were appointed to do without complaint. Not bad mouthing your manager because he is doing things you do not understand. The Bible phrases it much better than I could hope to: “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” (Luke 16:10 NLT)
So how do you do it?
Here are five steps to help you on the way to being faithful in the little things (and please remember this is NOT limited to your work only. It is relevant to your life – and I think our families deserve our faithfulness in the small things, the most of all.)
1. Have some quiet time. Some call it Bible Study, others call it meditation. Take this time to truly listen to your inner compass. If you talk to God, talk to Him, or sit and listen that He can speak to you.
2. Give more – not money only, but your time, your ears, your heart. Be present where you are. Care about others.
3. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Even if they do not treat you as you want to be treated.
4. Think before you speak, and ask yourself whether what you will say will make a positive contribution or whether it will break someone down. Too many have stepped over corpses when they climb the corporate ladder. What use is getting to the top when there is no one there to celebrate with you?
5. You are the best you there are and there are no other you but you. Use your youness. (New word there!) You have unique talents and abilities, use it.
A mistake that youngsters make in this time and age that we are in, is to underestimate the effort things take. It takes effort to stay true to your word when your little boys asks you to go bike riding but you are dog tired. Yet you get on the bike and you do it, because you said you would. That is the little thing. He will know to trust you in the big things also.
A last word of advice – make the little things exciting if you can – put on some nice music while you are doing the dishes, or don a pair of high heels if you can!
Go do the little things and the big things will follow.