Do The Small Things Well

It feels good to be trusted to do big tasks, talk to important people, or take charge of entire projects, but the real proof of our strength is in our ability to do small, seemingly unimportant things well. Think how much better it makes your day when the person serving you in the supermarket is friendly and smiles. If they are miserable when I’m shopping, I still get my shopping, but my day actually feels different with kindness. Wouldn’t it make the world a much better place if we all did the small things with the same energy and enthusiasm the more important tasks.

Even major goals are reached by means of a lot of small steps, and therefore learning to do the small things well gives us practice for the larger things. Lafkadio Hearn quoted on the website, says

All good work is done the way ants do things, little by little.

I’ve worked with all kinds of people, some of them will do any task that needs doing, and do it with a smile, but others get offended when asked to undertake a task which they think is beneath them. I’ve always thought that if you do those menial tasks well then you will be trusted with greater tasks. (In fairness, that doesn’t always work; sometimes bosses carry on giving you all the menial jobs because you don’t complain and others do. That is a totally different situation which would take up a whole blog on its own.)

I’ve noticed with people who have lost confidence in themselves, or sometimes have never had any confidence in their ability, that starting with something minor gives them confidence so that they gradually take on bigger challenges. That is, after all, how a child learns.

Think about how easy it is to do the small things when we have a baby or young child. We do all that we do in love and therefore it doesn’t seem menial. If we changed our perspective on the small things we have to do in life, and did them out of kindness or love, they would seem easier.

In the words of Mother Theresa,

Not all of us can do great things but we can all do small things with great love.