“Be faithful in the small things for it is in them that your victory lies.” ~ Mother Teresa
In a society built upon instant gratification it is difficult sometimes to stay focused on the small things because small things are tedious. They take time and we want what we want NOW! This instant gratification mindset cheats us out of the small victories of life – the very small victories that will ultimately help us reach and even surpass our goals.
Most of us are very good at setting lofty goals. We’ve been taught to do so since a very young age. What we often lack is the patience to see them through and the self-discipline to recognize our progress and celebrate the small victories we are making. When we determine it is time to go on a diet, we set a goal weight. Perhaps our goal is to lose twenty pounds. We can’t expect to lose it in a day or even in a week or a month. To do so would be unhealthier for us than carrying around the extra weight. No, we lose that weight a few ounces each day. The problem comes when we go several days without any measurable loss. We become discouraged and lose patience. It seems to just not be worth the frustration of it all. We fail to recognize the small gains (or in this case – losses) that we are making. We fail to celebrate those victories.
It’s that way with a lot of things in life. Making tiny improvements each day is what differentiates winners from losers. You can’t expect perfection, you can only expect improvement. In the 1960’s a young Austrian kid decided he wanted to be a bodybuilder, but not just any bodybuilder – he wanted to be the greatest bodybuilder. So a very young Arnold Schwarzenegger hit the gym daily and made small gains every single day and now we all know the end result.
In the game of baseball it is said if you can only hit the ball twice out of every ten at bats you will never make it as a baseball player, but if you can learn to hit the ball three times out of every ten at bats you can be in the Hall of Fame. The difference between losing and being a champion is often not that much. Super Bowls have been won by inches. Golfing Majors have been won by one stroke. Races have been won by hundredths of a second. At 211 degrees, water is very hot, but at 212 degrees it boils, produces steam and will drive a locomotive. That one little degree makes all the difference. Imagine what you can accomplish with just a tiny bit more effort than you are giving to your life, your marriage, your children or your job.
You may not your lofty goals as quickly as you want, but if you are closer to your goals today than you were yesterday – YOU ARE WINNING! Celebrate that victory! Cherish that accomplishment and endeavor to be even better tomorrow than you were today and in time you WILL reach and even surpass that goal.
Pay attention to the little details – for in them lies the power of life.
- A victory every day… (jimsplace.typepad.com)