“Rise above the little things.”
—John Burroughs, 19th Century American essayist
Have you heard of the book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff?
There is a companion workbook to help you put many of the techniques and strategies from the book into practice.
I suggest a three-step process to help you rise above the little things that often bring us all down:
Step One: Conduct a 5-10 minute inventory of the “little things” that hold you back, personally or professionally. A list of 3-5 in each category is a good start.
Step Two: Clarify the specific benefits or desired future possible if these pesky or intolerable issues were handled.
Step Three: Summon the courage, fortitude, and grit to become a bigger, more capable version of yourself. Take the necessary action and/or shift your perspective to have many of these “little things” fade away.
Feel free to reply to this post and let me know how things go.
“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.”
—Doug Firebaugh, home-based business consultant
If you are reading this post in the morning, I hope it inspires you to take a particular action or two to improve yourself and your world.
Select a single area of focus in which the effort and hopeful outcome will bring a big smile to your face when you rest your head on your pillow tonight.
Inching closer to your personal and professional goals reminds me of what some people call the “One Percent Rule.” This rule encourages us to strive for a one percent improvement on some worthy task or objective.
In what area can and will you provide that extra one percent to inch you closer to a better tomorrow?
“It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.”
—Al Batt (humorist)
image from Unsplash by William Iven
How active are you on social media? How many hours do you spend observing and interacting with the folks in your personal and professional communities?
What percent of your time is spent on content consumption, where you sit up and log into other people’s efforts?
What percent of the time are you getting up and taking action to create content and move the needles in your worlds?
Where would shifting the percentages from consumption to production cause others to sit up and notice, perhaps even taking greater action in their own lives?
“We are inclined to think that if we watch a football game or a baseball game, we have taken part in it.”
—John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
Image from Flickr by Danny Molyneux
Are you a sports fan? How many hours a week do you watch sporting events on TV? How often do you go to games or events in person?
Without question, the energy and excitement around sporting events – football, baseball, the upcoming Olympics, even golf – can be off the charts. Many people experience the by-product bursts of adrenaline through our proximity to these spectacles.
What if you lived in Roman times and were among the spectators in the Colosseum, where the game involved life or death? Clearly you would not wish to be one of the people facing the lions!
Where in your personal or professional life are you sitting on the sidelines as a spectator, thinking that somehow, you are actually in the game?
Where is it time to suit up and get on the field to actually experience life’s contests yourself?
“Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls.”
—David Thomas, President of Morehouse College
Image from Flickr by Imanka
About 20 years ago I attended a year-long program called The Wisdom Course. One of our primary assignments was to write our autobiography. We were to include photographs from every age, if available, and document important people and life events from each year. This was done through our own recollection, as well as interviews with many of the people we identified.
I found it fascinating to see the impact I made on the people in my life, and the impact they had on my growth and development. Of particular interest was where and how I began developing my core values, personality, and character.
The most notable observation was that the unselfish and noble actions – my own and those of others – were the most memorable and enduring.
Consider doing your own biographical life review. Make particular note of the noble and unselfish actions taken by yourself and others along the way. How have these events shaped you to be the person you are today?
“The time men spend in trying to impress others, they could spend in doing the things by which others would be impressed.”
—Frank Romer, History Professor
Image from Social Media Today
If we were to apply the 80/20 rule to today’s quote, it might go something like this:
“80 percent of the effort we put into impressing others creates 20 percent of the value we hope to produce.”
Although it seems pretty wasteful, many people put far too much effort in dressing for success than they should. Perhaps it is because these surface-only pursuits take less time and effort to make us look good. Unfortunately, they rarely produce the deep and significant outcomes we desire.
Consider shopping for a major purchase such as a home or a vehicle as a metaphor. Without a doubt, you would surely get a complete home inspection, or definitely look under the hood before making this kind of investment.
How can and will you flip the 80/20 rule to your benefit by taking more substantive actions to provide the valuable outcomes you desire, and likely impress others as a side benefit?
“It’s when you run away that you’re most liable to stumble.”
—Casey Robinson, Screenwriter/Producer
Image from findapsychologist
I’m not completely sure if today’s quote is always true, but watching action films and TV shows, I see the main characters often fall when they run away from their pursuers. Perhaps in film and TV land this is to create more suspense. Invariably, though, they stop, turn around, and summons the courage to take on the bad guys and win the day.
Where are you currently in retreat mode? What is causing you to stumble? What attitude shift or other resources are required to turn things around so you can move forward professionally or personally?
“In your life the safe route and the best route may not be the same route.”
What is your perspective or personal philosophy on these phrases?:
- No risk no reward
- The biggest risk is not taking any
- Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all
- Do one thing every day that scares you
- Leap and the net will appear
Select the phrases that resonate the most for you and display them on a Post-it Note in a highly visible location in your personal or professional world.
What action will you take to put yourself on the best route to more fully realize your most important and meaningful life goals?
Feel free to reply to this post with the quotes you selected and the actions you plan to take.
“Take my advice. I’m not using it.”
—David J. Henderhand
I am a big fan of TED Talks. I love great ideas, and as a coach, I find myself sharing them all the time. I recently saw Mel Robbins’ TEDx San Francisco talk from 2011, from which I had a “take away” – I’ll get to that in a minute. First, a few questions:
- What percent of the advice you offer others is acted upon?
- What percent of advice you offer to others do YOU act upon?
It is, after all, great advice. It makes perfect sense, and you’ve seen it work wonderfully for others!
Talk is indeed cheap, and Mel Robbin’s advice to all of us is that once the insight, idea, or words of wisdom pop into our minds, we must act upon them within five seconds to activate and reap the rewards they bring.
How can and will you use this five second “insight into action” strategy to use far more of the advice you offer to others?
How can you also coach and support others in your world to do the same?
How might you also apply this concept to the advice others offer you, and don’t happen to be using at the moment?