Little Things Add up to Big Things

Too many of us focus our attention on the big things—the big obstacle, the big achievement, the big pay raise—moments by which we tend to define our lives. And too many of us overlook the little things, which we tend to regard as trivial, boring, or unimportant. We might even classify them as a waste of time.

But let’s think for a moment about the big things in our lives. What made them possible? And, more importantly, what led to their outcome? Chances are, it was the little things we did that made them possible. It’s the little things that add up to big things, and we need to start taking that more seriously.

Most of us don’t like to do the little things. We ignore them or we avoid them. When we actually do them, we tend to lack focus and attention to detail, or we complain our way through them. What we don’t realize is that we are missing an opportunity for improvement.

Doing the little things, and doing them right (with focus and attention to detail), generates momentum, which creates discipline, and leads to improvement. When we notice improvement, it generates more momentum, which creates more discipline, and leads to more improvement. And with improvement comes achievement.

Anything great that has ever been achieved was preceded by hours, days, months—maybe even years—of doing the little things. When we are able to focus our attention on the little things, we will naturally move toward the big things. And this is how little things add up to big things.

What might be some of the little things you can focus on right now? How might successfully completing those little things help you achieve the bigger things?