What Is Easy to Do Is Easy Not to Do

Today’s post is one of the foundational pillars for Little Things Matter.  Of the more than a thousand comments left below my Web posts—on both this blog and on Facebook, it is clear that most people know the simple, easy little things they need to do, they just don’t do them with consistency.  As my mentor Jim Rohn* said, “What is easy to do is easy not to do.

Know it—Do it

We know we should listen without interrupting, but we still find ourselves interrupting.  We know we need to finish our projects on time, yet we find ourselves missing deadlines.  We know we should remember someone’s name, but yet we don’t pay attention and forget. We know we should answer that email or return that phone call, yet we keep putting it off.

The reason this lesson is one of the foundational pillars for Little Things Matter is because any big success is made up of little successes.  As Coach John Wooden said, “Little things make big things happen.”

If you are going to be successful at anything personally or professionally, it will result from doing the little things that, for the most part, are easy to do but also easy to neglect.

Be Consistent

Not only is it necessary to use your personal initiative to do the little things that are easy to do, the key is doing them consistently.  Most people do push themselves to do something for a short time, but very few people will do the things they should over an extended period of time.

Being consistent in doing the little things you know you should do has many positive results beyond the obvious desired outcome of achieving your goals. You will become more respected and admired. You will develop new friendships and build deeper relationships with people in both your personal life and professional life. You will feel better about yourself and the person you are becoming.

So, why don’t we do the little things that are easy to do?  The reason is because they are so-o-o-o easy not to do—to neglect, to procrastinate, to promise ourselves that we will do it tomorrow.

Another reason could be the fact that when the little things are looked at individually, we don’t value their importance. Napoleon Hill said, “A big success is made up from a great number of little circumstances each of which may seem so small and insignificant most people pass them by as not being worthy of notice.”

Fight the Cause

What’s the reason you aren’t consistent in doing the little things you know you should do?  Think about it.

When I was interviewed on Mixergy, a blog for aspiring entrepreneurs, I was asked what the No. 1 obstacle was that I had to overcome in order to achieve my goals.  My answer was laziness.  I know the little things I need to do and I understand their importance.  For me, I have to fight laziness and PUSH myself to do the little things I know I need to do.

Become a Disciplined Person

The fact that you are reading this blog post tells me that you want to achieve more in life. If you are going to be successful at achieving your goals, you must become a disciplined person.  You must become a person who will do the little things that are easy to do and easy not to do.

I also want to point out that I don’t believe there is any distinction between who you are in your personal life and who you are in your professional life. If your bedroom is a mess, then your car is probably a mess.  If you don’t have the discipline to clean your home and car, you will likely struggle having the discipline to do the little things required of you to achieve your goals. You can’t be one person at home and a different person at work.  You are who you are!

If you want to achieve more in your life, if you want to grow as a person and achieve your personal best, then you MUST become a person who does the little things that are both easy to do and easy not to do. This will likely be the greatest challenge you will ever take on, but if you will commit to this challenge and use your personal initiative do the things you know you should do with consistency, your life can be transformed.

One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do even when you don’t feel like doing it.

About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 30 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s daily lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are ranked #27 in America’s top 100 podcasts and #1 in the personal and development field.)

Related Posts:

Our Lives are a Mirror Image of the Little Decisions We Make

Your Greatest Obstacle

Who Do I Have to Become to Get What I Want?

What’s Your Value to the Market?

11 Ways to Increase Your Discipline

Accelerating Your Success

Do You Have What It Takes?

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  • Sahn

    Dear Todd,

    Responding to your "What Is Easy To Do"... Post. Ok. Are you up for a challenge? I go on record here that starting today, this moment, I, Sonia Francisco commit to remaking myself and doing those little things that matter that I would rather not do...I will continue to read and learn from your posts and other uplifting, spiritual literature I have available to me and put those lessons into action.

    Here is my question: How do I re-program my brain to be able to do this?

    I am not making excuses. Never-the-less, I have had some trauma in my life that makes this goal very challenging. I will literally have to re-wire the way I think and react and I am a little confused as to where to start.

    I was raised in a very abusive, chaotic, dysfunctional family. I already know that I am a strong person and that I have won many personal victories in my life that required facing and doing hard stuff. I had to rise from the ashes, so to speak and go from victim to survivor to thriver. It is a continuing process to reclaim the territory that has been stolen from me.

    I have survived Satanic ritual abuse and many other traumatic events which include divorce and death of a spouse. The afore-mentioned childhood abuse literally caused my psyche to split into different personalities, but after intense counseling and really hard emotional work, I have successfully integrated into a whole person. Reconnecting to my spirituality has been the key for me to heal and recover from my past. The church I attend is both a comfort and a guide in my life.

    The problem is, even after 10 years, I am still learning the basics of how to function as a normal, single human being. My brain has been wired for survival for so long that it is challenging to take it out of that mode. I tend to be both mildly dyslexic and have many of the same symptoms as someone with ADD. I am very distractable and find myself aimlessly going from one activity to the next without any real sense of time. Following through with commitments, remembering special occasions and being on time is extremely challenging for me.

    To survive, I learned NOT to look people in the eye, to forget things instantly, to be a chameleon, to hide who I really was. These skills saved my life then, but are quite the opposite of what I need to do and who I need to be in my life today.

    I understand that routines are helpful, but have never before been able to keep to one for any length of time. I instinctively rebel against anything too stifling or controlling, even if I know it will be good for me. My husband's favorite nickname for me is "Maverick".

    Would you be willing to share with me how you plan out your day, ie what routines you keep that prevent you from falling into the trap of procrastination and laziness? What is it that you do to motivate yourself to just go and do what needs to be done in the first place?

    My most immediate goal is to be successful as a marketing consultant in Ambit Energy. Yet, how can I do that when my home, my car, etc are a cluttered mess and I have so many self-defeating habits? I mean, where do I start first? I am open to doing first things first if I could only figure out what those things were!

    I am struggling to balance my responsibilities at home, church, and the business. I almost gave up on doing Ambit, but have recently chosen to try it once more as a vehicle to financial freedom and personal success. No one in my family has EVER been successful financially. That is one more shackle in the chain that binds my family of origin that I would love to break. One more false belief system I desire to prove to be wrong.

    Thank you so much for your time and feedback, Todd.

    May God Bless You,


  • Sandra Phillips

    Thanks Todd,

    I can never hear or read this enough times

    Sandra Phillips, Unicity Franchise Owner

  • HI Sandra- Thanks for your comment! I hope you are doing well.

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