Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's the little things that matter

There are times that you really don't want to. Times that when you are so tired, so overcome, and so fed up, that you are almost ready to give up.  That's fine, we've all been there, at least once.

Me too!

What we cannot do is let ourselves get down on ourselves for feeling that way.  We need to know that it is okay to feel that way sometimes. It's in those moments that we find out what we are really made of. DO we push through, or stay down.

Life isn't all sunshine and lollipops. We all know that, this is no secret. But life is not about how hard we can hit, today's world seems to look at how successful we are; it's about how hard we can get hit and keep getting back up. How many time we can take that hit and keep pushing forward.

All over the internet I see motivationals that tell you everything is, or will be, okay.

This is obviously not true, but what really gets me... really gets my goat... is the prevailing idea that we cannot allow ourselves to feel down. It somehow became the prevailing mindset that we have to be perpetually optimistic. This drives me up the wall.

There used to be a time, I remember not too long ago that we were able to allow ourselves to actually feel down, and people would generally let us be that way. Of course if it carried on too long our loved one's would begin to try and pull us out of it out of sheer concern. Beyond that, we were left to our own devices.

Fast forward to today... heaven forbid you be down and out about something. Or allow a failure to ruin an otherwise good day. These are good things to have happen. They teach us that we can get through it. No matter how bad, we are/were strong enough to get through it. Might have taken a while but we did it.

Failure, is a bad thing. Period. It sucks, it hurts, and no one should ever be okay with it. That in mind, failure is a part of life. We all have to go through it, pick ourselves up, and figure out how not to do that again. But as is the case now, so many people go through it, pick themselves up, and then forget to figure out how not to do it again. This is crap. We are adults. Or at least we are supposed to be. A little bit of self review is not a bad thing.

Now then, what can be done to alleviate these failure, small and large?

The details. Always the details.

Do the little things that become habits to make you successful. There is truth to the proverb "if always do what you've always done". Make certain that you are doing the little tings that successful people do and the larger ones come easier.

"But how, and what?" I hear you cry, my friendly reader.

Start small, little easy things that we really should have been doing since the early days.

Try this: Make your bed every morning.

I know. It sounds silly. So silly it's almost trivial. And that is the point of it. It's so trivial, so simple, and yet so few people actually do it. But when you do, you realize after about a week or so of doing it that you actually are starting your day by doing something.

It doesn't mattter that it's silly. It doesn't matter that at the end of the day you are going to just climb right back into that same bed and mess it up all over again. you start each day by completing a task. Much like brushing your teeth; you're just gonna end up eating during the day anyway and having to brush them again.

But I doubt that you, my fair reader, would consider foregoing oral hygiene for that reason.

Moving on from there it is easy to set up little check points in your routine that you can make, well.. routine.

Some that I have to make sure I take care of are seemingly silly (and yes I mess up and don't do them from time to time)

Always put my coffee cup in the dish washer. 

Change out the towel in my gym bag.

Write in my journal (even if it's simple "well it's Wednesday")

These are little things that take a grand total of no more than 20 minutes.

(I can't make the bed on account of the wife still being asleep at 4am)

But moreover, these are things that I do, because I know I need to do them so I don't have to worry about it later. I always have a clean coffee mug, my gym towel isn't funky at the end of my work out, and I know exactly what the day is.

Again these may seem like little things, but I cannot tell you how much it messes with my day if I don't do them. or my next morning in the case of the coffee cup.

Putting into place a system that you worry about the little things, the details first, opens up your mental RAM for other more important tasks. Getting that report done at work, getting the bills paid, or getting some writing done.  It's the same theory that we are all far more productive in a clean space because we don't think about how badly the room needs tidying up, we know we can just focus on the task at hand.

That's all for today. Thanks for reading.

And go make your bed.