Start Small (Again)
Do you remember being small? What about feeling small? Recently, I’ve been reflecting again on the significance of small beginnings. On the surface of my considerations I’ve remembered how every new start is actually a small start. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new job or a promotion, a relationship, a hobby or a move because, in every case, we likely don't know exactly what we're doing or how it will turn out. We take the raw materials of our experience, knowledge and the tangible assets within our grasp and make the most of the compilation. The process can be both daunting and wonderful all in one.
Often, I find that we look down on the small. We can dismiss the value of each decision, each step. We might do this because we have the completed vision in mind and until we see that fulfilled, we won’t feel contentment. We might also diminish the importance of the small because honestly, our little steps and achievements aren’t typically noticed. Perhaps we want others to view us in a certain way and until we can share some grand milestone or achievement, we don’t personally perceive our minor steps as victories. And, maybe we just expect more from ourselves.
Case in point, a couple weeks back I sat down to draft two important emails. While I understood the strategic value of both communications, when I finished the drafts and sent them off to two friends who had offered to review them, I felt deflated rather than encouraged. Later the same day, I was talking with a friend and she asked about my work day. I mentioned completing the drafts and she responded, “It sounds like you did so much today!” She meant it.
Later, I reconsidered my perspective. She was right. Both required thought, focus, discipline and even hope, to draft. Completing them meant the possibility to advance my companies. At the end of the day, these seemingly insignificant emails were actually really valuable. This understanding caused me to smile and I felt encouraged. The trajectory of the evening changed and I started the next day with a fresh sense of excitement.
So I wonder… How are you doing with your small beginnings? Are you looking down on them, lessening their value? Are you looking down on yourself? Or, maybe you’re further along than I am and you’ve already learned to celebrate your good work and your forward steps. I hope it’s the latter!
Each of us started small and have been starting small ever since. As we continue to grow older in age, more mature in our character and broader in our experience, let’s not give in to the temptation to look down on our small steps. Instead, let’s celebrate each win. Let’s seek to delight in our progress each and every day. Brick by brick… Let’s endeavor to embrace, and even enjoy, the small beginning (again).