Over the years, I have told my kids a million times, “be the leader!” It is an honor to see each of them growing their influence and leadership skills. This post is by my daughter Denae who has been a very important part of making GrowMyLeadership what it is.
Little Things Matter
Those words…forever engraved into my memory since grade school. There was never an explanation; no one told me where the words came from or why they were important. The words themselves just showed up. Every time my dad set his computer down and the screen saver came on, those words would appear bouncing left, right, and backwards, as any default screen saver would.
So today as a young-adult, I can’t help but remember the “little things matter.” Time and time again it has been the same piece of advice; if you want to be successful, you must be disciplined, first, in the little things:
- Free Time Matters: What you look at, where you go, and who you spend time with really affects who you are. Please, don’t misunderstand me and assume I’m saying always hang out with perfect people because just the opposite is true. Spend time with real people and people who will be honest with you.
- Living Healthy Matters: Make one change in your diet; take out the worst thing you eat and see what happens. Then do this each week. Add good things into your diet. If you hate kale, don’t eat kale, but add in more fruits and vegetables you do like and after a few times of doing that, your body will crave more fruits and vegetables. If I found a common denominator in all the leaders I follow, it’s this: they all begin their day the same way, by exercising. While I’m the first to find a million excuses as to why my time could be better used, the ability to make a faithful commitment to your physical health will make you a better leader.
- Disconnecting Matters: Taking a lunch break and stepping outside of your office for 45 minutes can make a huge difference in your day. Know when to turn your phone off, when to stop playing trivia crack, and when to let the Instagram feed exist without you knowing where everyone is.
- Learning Matters: Not everyone makes the choice to further their education, but everyone should continue pursuing knowledge. Read a book once a week and if you’re not a reader, listen to podcasts…but whatever you do, learn from the experiences of others. It will save you a lot of trouble and help you excel where you are and where you have not yet been.
Each of these four things might take you less than an hour each day and so it may seem small. So then you’ll tell yourself that it doesn’t matter if you miss it once or twice. However, when you don’t read all week, or if you eat on the run all week, the small things turn into big things. Reading one hour each day means seven hours each week; that’s two books a week you’re reading!
Establishing “small” habits is not limited to the four things mentioned above. Those are areas I have PERSONALLY focused on. If you tell yourself you have time for it later, you won’t. You have to make the time.
When the little things matter, your life makes a huge difference and, when you glance back, you’ll notice the little things made a huge difference that matters.
When my father created his “the little things matter” screen saver, he had no clue how important of a reminder it would be to me years later. It wasn’t intentional, but his ability to lead his own life in a way that reflected “even the little things matter,” it allowed me to implement the same priority.
Albert Einstein said, “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”
Thanks Dad for setting the example.
Check out this video from Business Insider last month: an Admiral’s inspiring speech on a “little” task.
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