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.
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.)