We sometimes leave clean dishes in a drying rack overnight. My husband usually wakes up before me and on some mornings, he puts all the dishes away. Even though I have plenty of time to do it when I wake up, he does it first. It takes less than 5 minutes, but that small gesture can change my day. When I walk into the kitchen and see the clean counter, it makes me smile. That small gesture is an act of love.
We need to think more about how we can improve relationships, business and all circumstances by asking, “What is the one small thing I can do in this moment?”
You won’t be surprised to hear that I don’t think more is better in most circumstances. Think about how much better the first bite of dark chocolate tastes compared to the next (or the 20th). The shortest phrases like I love you, thank you and I’m sorry can move mountains and the simplest, smallest changes can result in the biggest improvements.
Sometimes, when we think about all the changes we need or want to make, overwhelm sets in. That is the easiest time to put change and growth on the back burner and start a favorite TV show or bag of chips. I’ve been there. I’ve gone there. (both places and others)
Once you are aware of when you are overwhelmed, you can begin to close the gap between action and awareness. Even better, you can calm the overwhelm, take a deep breath and remind yourself that one small change will do.
Real Life Examples
Mending Fences. If you’ve done something wrong and are overwhelmed by how to fix things, start with a simple, “I’m so sorry.”
Paying Debt. If collection calls and interest charges have you hiding under the covers, simply send all calls to voice mail and make a plan.
Losing Weight. Choose one apple or a walk after dinner instead of sending your body into stress mode by starting a big restrictive diet.
Real Business Examples
Getting it all done. If you are overwhelmed by everything you have to get done in a day, stop checking email first thing and do one important thing first. Use that sense of accomplishment to do the next. Read The Power of Less for simple ways to do better business.
New things. Afraid to jump into social media because you don’t know the difference between a timeline and a retweet? Read this and start a Twitter account. Tweet one helpful article or piece of advice each day. Just one.
Money. If you’ve recently started your own business or you’d like to earn an income from a new business, but are overwhelmed with the idea of asking for money, help one person for free and ask them for a testimonial. When you can see the value of your services through another set of eyes, you can begin to ask for money and feel good about it. You are worth it. If you are selling something good and helpful, you deserve to make money.
“What is the one small thing you can do in this moment to make a difference to you or someone else?”