Over lunch, an executive client of mine and I were reflecting about her past few years of professional and personal development as we closed out the current phase of our work together. One thing she said really struck me.
“What I’ve learned is that it’s a million little things, not the big things, that matter.”
What did she mean by this?
She was referring to all the mindset conversations we had had, the small tweaks to how she becomes more aware of herself and how she shows up in conversations with her in-house and extended team, and how she thinks and acts upon what she is here to do professionally that makes the difference: for her, for her team, for her extended community, and for her family.
It strikes me that her realization is a salient message for us at this moment in history, at this time when so many are waking up to the importance of using their voice to be and make the change they want to see, locally, nationally, and globally.
Regardless of your political leanings, it is clear that this is an unprecedented moment in time.
The change in U.S. leadership is an opportunity to wake up to the miracle of your life, to the power of your voice, and your ability to be an agent of change. Whether you crave change in your own life, the lives of your children, your team, and/or of people in your community and country, now is the time to declare your dream for what you want to see and start taking baby steps each day toward it. It’s the small steps, the tiny actions, that get you to where you want to go, one bit at a time.
Not sure where to start, and what I mean by baby steps?
Here are some ideas:
- Take my friend KC Carter’s advice and on your lunch break take your lunch and go sit in a lovely hotel lobby with a journal and write down what you want to create in your life and work.
- Download Insight Timer, a no-cost meditation app, and begin a daily ritual of, upon waking, plugging in your earbuds and listening to one of the guided meditations. One of my favorites is Let Go, Love, Forgive by Lorraine Segal. At just over 10 minutes, it’s a quick trip to paradise, a way to ground myself and an inspiring start to my day.
- Ask someone who inspires you to lunch or coffee, and ask them open-ended questions to learn more about their path and success strategies for having a fulfilling career and life.
- Identify a skill you love to use and offer it up to an organization or person who needs it. Whether you become a mentor for a startup founder, a volunteer for a pro bono assignment at work to help a worthy cause, a big brother or sister for a child who craves fellowship and positive influence, or a dog walker at an animal shelter, find a way to give back.
- Make time for creative pursuits. Restart a hobby you loved earlier in life but let fall by the wayside. Make an ironclad appointment with yourself to go to a café early in the morning one day per week. Don’t open your email first; instead, take out a blank page and start writing or drawing whatever comes to you in that moment. The emails can wait. This is your time.
- Take a class. Find something you have been interested in learning and find a fun, engaging way to learn it. Creative Live is one of my favorite sites to peruse for interesting classes to take.
You get the idea. Honestly, it is more important to start moving in a positive direction than to make sure that the action you are taking is the “right” one. Just get into action, now. Don’t wait until you have time or you figure out your true life purpose or calling. Just find something that gives you joy, energy and perhaps the thrill/prick of fear when you contemplate it, and get started.
This is an unprecedented moment in time, a moment to wake up to the power you have over your life, to make it what you want and to make the impact you want in the world. Don’t wait, because no one is going to do it for you, and it won’t become easier later to make time for things that are important to you. The people you admire, who inspire you by the way they live and work, are those who make tiny choices each day to bring more of what they want into their world, bit by bit, even when it scares them to do so.
Believe that you are worth taking the time each day to do something that energizes you, which lays down track for you to do more tomorrow, and each day after that. You can do it.
You will be amazed at how things shift in your life when you take time each day to make small actions that will add up to a big change.