I am not a good decision maker. I agonize and overthink myself into a state of inertia. I firmly believe I could have accomplished so much more in my life if I had just made the decision to do it…and then actually did the thing. I worried about making a mistake. I didn’t trust myself and I approached the choices as if the fate of world rested on my decision. It doesn’t. My life didn’t even rest on most of the decisions I’ve struggled with throughout my life.
I often spend so much time trying to make a decision that I miss out on the small things happening around me. It is the whole forest and trees way of living. As I get older, I realize that there is a better way.
The defining moments of our lives, so we often believe, are the big things – marriage, children, buying a home, education, jobs, promotions, death and taxes. These are the events that stand out because they are big and memorable; however, I would argue that it is the little decisions we make every day of our lives that truly define who we are as a human being, citizen, family member, friend and employee.
“It’s the little things.” How many times have you heard that in your life? In fact, you have probably said or thought some version of that saying many times. Why? Because it is so true.
Choosing to do the right hard thing instead of the easy thing.
Making time for someone else when you had plans of your own.
Sacrificing your comfort to help another person.
Giving money instead of spending it.
Working hard even when no one is looking.
Volunteering while expecting nothing in return.
Holding the door for someone, or giving them your place in line.
Being quiet so that another person can shine.
Playing with a child.
These are just a few of the small decisions we make every single day that, when added together, make up the life you have chosen to live. Most importantly, these are decisions and actions done without fanfare that make a difference in the lives of others.
We all have good and not so good days. Some days I just can’t pull myself out of myself. One of the consequences of the pandemic is that we are not interacting with one another like we used to therefore it is a little harder to live this kind of life. But we certainly can do it within our small family and friend circles. Kindness and thoughtfulness don’t have to be done face to face. A letter, email, or phone call works wonders.
I often think that in my very small world I don’t do anything to make a difference in the lives of people. But that is because I only am looking at the big gestures that I see others doing and compare myself unfavorably with them. Then I remember that God did not put me on earth to do things like someone else. He put me here to be the best me I can be and allow Him to work through me to demonstrate love and kindness to all who cross my path. It doesn’t ever feel like enough. But, that’s because it is a little thing and all those little things add up to make a big difference as God’s light and love shine through me.
The same is true for you. Be the best you you can be. Stay in close contact with God and He will lead you to the people and opportunities custom made for you to do something little for someone else.
I will be continuing this theme of little things for a few days. I have been making little changes here and there that are my little contribution to the world.