Little Things Feed

do what you can

 

Do what you can.

No matter how little. How small and how insignificant.

Do it despite the half-hearted effort.

Do what you can because the teeter-totter habit of doing all or nothing will ultimately lead you to nowhere. It will very likely drag your limp mind, to some dark places, where you’d rather not be, and might not be able to get out of, for a long, long time.

When you do what you can, it won’t feel like you’re doing much. It will feel like what you’re doing doesn’t matter. It won’t feel right at all, or good, but do it anyway.

There will be days like this.

Perhaps many days like this, but they too shall pass.

Do what you can.

Eventually you’ll recover from that terrible cough you’ve been stubbornly harbouring for weeks now. And you won’t remember any of the tedious work that sprung up unexpectedly while you were away from the office.

Sometimes your dreams will be a bit neglected, while you are given no choice but to watch your coworkers scramble and push to new corporate heights. Watch them scramble in a new glorious direction.

This corporate and unionized world runs on new initiatives. It is lost without them. It thrives on reinventing, repackaging, and reselling what already works.

Be patient and keep doing something, because you will always stare down new and fresh initiatives that are meant to replace the old and stale ones. They always replace the work that never had a chance to mature or bear fruit, which was implemented not that long ago, but that is of no one’s concern now, because everyone is encouraged to be giddy with the new.

You have to do what you can.

When you can.

As often as you can.

No matter what.

No matter what the circumstances you’re facing. No matter what the excuses in your head are telling you. Those sons of bitches are concocting an offer for the easy road; a peaceful resolution. They give you permission to stand down.

It’s ok to do nothing.

You’ve earned it.

Wait until you’re ready. Wait until that stubborn cough leaves you. When you get some free time, perhaps next weekend. Do it when you find a new job or get a new boss. When the weather turns nicer. After the holidays. When your finances are in order. When your kids are a little more grown and in need of a little less attention. Wait until those aches and pains in your back work themselves out. Wait a little longer. A little bit longer.

Wait.

Come to think of it, you should probably have a little nap. To refresh yourself. You need it, after all you’ve been through. You’ve worked so hard. Too hard.

There is nothing for you to do really. Under the present circumstances all you can do is wait and hope your problems work themselves out.

One day.

Some day.

Don’t listen.

Do what you can instead. It really does add up. You have the ability to grow and change by doing little things and doing them for a very long time, and then one day, someone will notice and falsely believe that you got to where you are because you’re just lucky. It’s just easy for you.

It won’t be easy.

Weight training when you have a head cold will feel exhausting. Helping your kids with their homework, when you have so much of your own work to do will feel like an utter waste of time. A coffee date with a dear friend, in the middle of all the chaos, when there is so much work to do, is not only irresponsible, but truly insulting to the company you work for.

How dare you make decisions for your own life?

How dare you want to be happy?

Who gave you the right to live meaningfully?

Ignore them.

Do what you can.

When you can.

How often as you can.

A little bit of I can, will uplift your soul, and will guard you against the awful tragedy and terminal submission of I can’t.

 


there's no magical fairy dust

 

So maybe somewhere out there, in a mystical castle, and probably in a dungeon, someone has managed to abscond with barrels and barrels of magical fairy dust, but I can’t for the life of me find any.

It would be nice to have it too. To have that magic bullet. The secret formula. The hidden path to riches. A path to love and to uncover an escape plan from all suffering. An easy way to get what we want out of life.

We can, but we would have to take ourselves out of the equation first, because our life complicates everything. It mucks it up. Only our demise makes everything nice and rosy.

People are the problem.

We are the problem.

You are an unquantifiable mystery. Prone to weave right, when you should weave left. Often getting things wrong. Regressing. Getting things right. Reluctantly moving forward. Forgetting. Jumping to conclusions. Making a mess of things.

You and I are the problem, and magical fairy dust is the solution.

Except there is no magical fairy dust, and we are still left with the question of how to grow, how to improve, and how to live a meaningful life.

You just can’t will yourself anything. Can’t sprinkle anything. Can’t will yourself a new you. A new life or a new wife.

You cannot make the life you don’t want just disappear. You can’t be unborn or unmistake your mistakes.

Mantras help, but they are just words, meant to change the way you think. They work, not because there is sorcery in the words, but because through relentless repetition you begin to believe what you hear and do what you should have done in the first place.  

Your thoughts are the key to everything. Your mind is the true gatekeeper of your reality.

If you think you will have a horrible day, you will. If you think you’re too poor to travel, you are. If you think you’re unwanted or undesirable, people will turn away from in droves, and hide themselves from you at every turn. 

You have to change your thoughts.

Over a long period of time, repeating mantras or transcendental meditation does help. It helps to make you think differently.

But in itself it is not a secret formula. It’s not magic. You cannot substitute waking up and engaging yourself in the art of living.

You don’t have to meditate or use mantras. You can achieve similar results with prayer or by reading good books. By surrounding yourself with successful, loving, and driven people. By having the courage to fail and not take yourself so seriously.

There are many ways to success, but there is certainly no such thing as magical fairy dust.

I have recently come across the work of Carline Arnold, the author of Small Move, Big Change, and I’m in love with her idea of Microresolution.

Imagine the infinite possibilities of Micro Self-Development!

Imagine what lasting impact changing your toothbrush, or the radio station you listen to in the morning can produce in the long term? Imagine what arriving at work five minutes early could do for you? Or five minutes late, if you’re a perfectionist.

Imagine what taking a few extra steps each day could mean not only for your heart, but your entire life. Imagine what trouble you could find along the way. What scandalous thoughts you could dream up. What a tremendous transformation this could all lead to, one day.

One day begins today.

With little things.

Not Magic Bullets.

With micro things.

Not secret formulas.

With insignificant, unnoticeable, ignorable little things will ultimately help and bring you to the life you’re longing for.

Forget the dungeon and the castle.

Forget the barrels and barrels of magical fairy dust.

Focus instead on your uniqueness.

Accept that your life requires rare and tangible actions. Choices and movements, only you can make.

Start making things happen.

In little ways.

Through tiny thoughts.

In miniscule bits and bits of change.

 


a thousand words

 

A picture is worth a thousand words.

One thousand.

Or so we were made to believe.

Isn’t it funny though? How the rate of exchange on pictures and words, has remained the same for quite some time now?

Funny.

And so, the rate is set.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

What a multiplicity of decalog proportions!

How powerful those pictures are. Look how much influence they’ve yielded over us. How much we obsess over them. How much importance we place on our own ability to see.

After all, seeing is believing.

And we love what we see.

All of this excitement certainly explains our selfie craze, that we’ve managed to linger in, for quite some time now. It’s not a bit surprising, considering that everyone has a professional camera in their pocket.

But let’s get back to the math.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

I beg to differ.

I think we give far too much credit to our eyes. Care too much about how we’re seen and what we perceive. Work way too hard to make sure our grass is as beautifully manicured as our neighbours.

Its madness.

Words have never stopped yielding their tremendous power.

No matter what value, or exchange rate you wish to yield.

I’m not going to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction and lay false claims that words are somehow worth more than pictures. My only desire is to bring back some of the desperately needed dignity to our language, and to point out the hypocritical imbalance of our obsession with seeing.

Words are worth a lot.

You cannot give them a permanent mathematical value. Assign them an arbitrary weight.

At different times, as we grow, and in different circumstances, different words, mean different things. Some cost us everything. Others lead us to much happiness.

Oh, how I would do anything right now, to hear my mother and father’s voice utter something. Anything. Pronounce any word. Make any sound.

How much I long to hear, that they still love me, and that they are most proud of me. Yet, when they were still alive, and when I could spend any time with them, they reminded me of their everlasting love, a thousand times over.

I wouldn’t trade a single word for a thousand pictures.

How truly powerful are the words; I’m sorry.

Just three lowly words.

As strong and equally as powerful in their essence as; I love you.

That’s if you mean them, of course.

Three little words.

Seven and eight letters strong.

Not a thousand.

Those three words are more powerful and more meaningful, than any photograph, you could ever have the misfortune of enticing me with.

So why do we shy away from words?

Why do we have a propensity to reject them? A stubbornness of avoiding them.

For most of us, pictures remain the dominant force in our lives. Most people are stuck with a vocabulary, they acquired, shortly after graduating primary school.  

As a human family, we seem to have no desire in expressing ourselves with words.

We like to point and grunt. Gossip and curse. Snap and pose.

But I encourage you to ignore the photograph and embrace a thousand words.

Start with three.

Build from there.

Share and express your thoughts openly.

Share what you think.

Forget what you see.

Even if it’s for an afternoon, or just a fleeting moment.

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tiny little things

 

We all love big moments.

We love stories of momentous transformation. Rags to riches. Overcoming addiction. Massive weight loss. Finding the courage to walk away from an abusive relationship. Stories that make us pause and reflect on our own lives. Stories that give us hope. Adventures that give us as a reason to change.

Yet.

Those momentous moments are extremely rare, and upon some analysis, often do so very little in our lives.

They bear no lasting impact. Produce very little change. Influence and move us to do nothing. Achieve a mouse’s fart of energy.

The momentous moments are very nice, of course, and we should pause once in a while, to reflect on them, but it’s the tiny little things, the insignificant moments in our life, that will have a deeper and more lasting effect on your life. Far more than you might care to believe or give them credit.

Those tiny little things.

Those tiny little decisions.

One less cigarette. One less beer. Or one less cup of coffee.

A small French Fry instead of the usual large or medium. A ten-minute walk. A quick and unimaginative text message, to someone who’s voice you haven’t heard in a very, very, long time.

Perhaps a new book. A new album you’ve never heard. A conversation with a random stranger.

How about distancing yourself from a verbal or digital confrontation? Turning away from complaining? How about being silent and not saying what you’re really thinking?

What about having a little patience with yourself? Giving yourself a chance to breathe. A chance to be forgiven. An opportunity to try again. A chance to rest. A moment to forget. A little instant to remember.

Trust the little things.

They come and go so quickly. They appear suddenly. Uninvited and they leave without permission or without uttering a sound.

But there is no need to chase after them. No need to be sad at their departure. Unlike the big moments we always gather to stare at, little things, come and go, all the time.

The next one is just around the corner.

The next tiny little moment, is practically at your beck and call. And all you have to do, is to decide, and go out to greet it. Embrace it. Reach for it. Find it.

You are the only one that can meet that moment. You are a tiny little thing too.

Don’t expect an invitation.

Don’t expect angels announcing any arrivals. Don’t expect the Magi, or the star from the East. But do expect greatness from yourself.

Expect it, because there is tremendous dignity in being who you are. Despite the fact that you’ve left some parts of your life a bit dormant, for a bit too long.

You’re a bit dusty, me thinks. A touch stale and musty.

It’s time for a change.

A little change. A tiny, calculated movement, towards something new.

No matter what you do however, remember, that there is always another chance. Another moment. Another turn. Another opportunity, and you don’t need a formal invitation.

No matter what you do, you can always return. You can come back, time and time again.

You can return to your life amongst the tiny, little things, and that’s because life has hidden her mysteries, in those tiny, little things.

So, have a beautiful day.

Full of insignificant tiny little moments. Unaccounted. Unobserved opportunities, that show you who you are and desire to be.

If the whole world is too big of a place, perhaps you can reveal yourself to someone you love. Someone that would really love to steal a moment of your time.

A moment of time.

Such a tiny, insignificant, little thing.

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