You know, sometimes it really is the little things in life that could bring us so much joy. A sunset, getting ice cream, or getting gas at a cheap gas station are some of the little things that could brighten our moods.
But it’s always the BIG things in life that we seem to focus on. We want to experience something truly amazing to feel good about life. Unfortunately, the big things rarely happen. The small things, however, happen on a daily basis.
You see, the BIG THING may never happen. Never! But you will always experience the small things on a daily basis. EVERYDAY some good, yet small, thing would happen to you.
When we’ve first started conducting ZUMBA classes at the church, I was always so focused on getting HUGE donations and having a HUGE class full of excited people. So whenever I have classes where only 10 or so people showed up, I would get discouraged.
Or whenever we get a tiny donation, I would get annoyed.
But, while I was so focused on big numbers, I forgot about my small, yet dedicated regulars who came to classes almost every time. While I was focused on huge donations, I’ve missed the fact that I was still getting donations, no matter how small. In fact, ever since we’ve started these classes, I’ve never received ZERO dollars in donations.
Now, I’m thankful for any little that I get. I’m thankful for my small classes. I’m thankful for small donations. Instead of thinking about the big things that I’m not getting, I’ve started to think about the small things that I get every day.
It’s hard to focus on the small things. We want big things to happen to us...
But these things may NEVER happen for you. However, the following WILL happen:
Sometimes, we feel that thinking about the little things is nothing more than settling for less. But let me ask you this question: how sure are you that the big things will actually happen for you? You just may spend your entire life chasing after something that may never happen.
However, you could always chase after something that you KNOW will happen. The little things will ALWAYS happen. Chase after those and focus on those things -- and just maybe, the big things will happen.
But even if the big thing happens, don’t settle for it. Don’t think that since this big thing happened that your life is complete. Keep focusing on the little things. The big things could happen one time and then go away -- never to return again. The little things will always happen -- and if you want to be more joyful in life, keep focusing on those little things.
Remember this: if you do things from the heart, you will always be recognized. If you do good work simply because you want to, then somebody will say something about it.
Now, if you do things just to get recognition, then you'd never be satisfied with yourself.
Recently, I cleaned up my e-mail list. I did give several heads-ups in my e-mails about my intentions of unsubscribing a bunch of people who only had two stars by their names. Those with at least three stars are those who occasionally open my e-mails, while those with 4 or 5 stars are those who almost always open my e-mails. Now, while I don't expect everybody with 4 or 5 stars to always read my e-mails, I do expect that those big-star types would open the e-mails to AT LEAST see if I cancelled classes. That is why I put the most pertinent information at the very top of the e-mails so nobody would have to scroll down my book-size e-mails!
Those who open the e-mails are those who are most engaged with my work. These are the people who are always keeping an eye out for my activity. These people at least see if class is going on, or check if I'm offering any other services besides ZUMBA, or actually just read the inspirational e-mails. I actually have people on my list who never came to any of my classes, but they just want to stay on the list just for the inspirational e-mails.
Now, most of these people would probably NEVER say how much they appreciate my e-mails. But, this doesn't mean that they don't. They just simply don't say anything. I have no idea how much of an impact that I'm actually having and I may NEVER know. But I do know this: when I see those 4 or 5 stars by people's names, then I know that they are engaged. I don't even know most of those big-star types, but I could hope that I'm having some impact on their lives.
And no, I'm not asking for recognition. Why? Because I don't need to. If I'm doing good work, then somebody will say something. Usually, somebody does say how much they appreciate my work when I never asked for recognition. In the same way, if YOU are doing good work, there is no need to look for recognition. Somebody will say something even when you're not asking for it.
But even if somebody doesn't verbally express their appreciation for you, they will show it by their actions.
When I was working at a warehouse, I worked hard. A bit too hard, because my body was aching and I was losing too much weight. Nobody ever said how much they appreciated my hard work. Instead, the supervisors would ask me to do more work -- mostly because most of the workers didn't want to work.
But one day, two supervisors actually asked me if I wanted to permanently work in a very easy section in the job. I mean, my lifting and sweating days were pretty much over! When I started working in this section, it was like paradise! I still ended up quitting the job, but had I stood, I would have had an easier life on the job. The only reason I could think of as to why the supervisors had me work in that easy section was because of who I was and the kind of work I did. They were watching me. They never said "Good job!" or anything like it. Their way of giving me recognition was to give me easier work to do.
See, I'm confident in my work because I do it from the heart. Whether or not somebody says something about my work isn't important. I know how to recognize if somebody thinks that I do good work. Just like with the e-mails, if I see a bunch of 4 and 5 star people, I know that they appreciate my work. If people unsubscribe from my list, then I know that they're not interested in my work. No hard feelings. I'm just not the person for them.
If people keep coming to my fitness classes, then I know that they appreciate my work. If people don't return to my classes, then they're not interested. No hard feelings. Nobody needs to say "I love your work" or "I don't care for it." Their actions would tell me how they feel.
Do you have a social media page where you're seeking to get followers? Somewhat recently, I've discovered that people could actually purchase a bunch of "phantom" followers for their Facebook pages. I could buy a bunch of "likes" on my Facebook page, so that when you see all those "likes," you'd think I'm super popular! But before you click "like" on that Facebook page, scroll down and see how many of those followers are actually engaged. If a page has 10,000 likes but barely any of those people are liking their posts, then those thousands of likes were either purchased or "enticed" (e.g. "Like my page and get a free [insert item here]).
Then you see the Facebook pages with thousands of likes and you see that all of their posts have many likes. That shows that people are actually engaged -- or in other words, these people actually appreciate the work on this page.
People don't need to give you formal recognition for your work. You don't need an award ceremony, because they overall don't mean anything. They just make you feel good about yourself. But what you should look for are other people's actions. Do their actions show that they appreciate your work, or do their actions show that they could do without you? Hint: if you're still on your job, then your boss appreciates you, even if you disagree.
You could write a book and sell millions. That means nothing. If you write several books and the same people keep buying from you, that's recognition.
You could get a pat on the back at the job. That means nothing. If you try to quit and your boss tries to convince you otherwise, that's recognition.
You could be a teacher and have parents tell you how much they appreciate you. That means nothing. If the kids actually like coming to your class, that's recognition.
If you're a parent and your spouse says you're doing a wonderful job at parenting...nope, that means nothing.But if the kids actually want to spend time with you, that's recognition for your parenting skills. Of course, that doesn't mean that the kids always like being around you!
Don't seek recognition. Don't do things just to be seen. If your work is good, you'll get recognized. It may not be in a way that you want, but you'll get recognized. Focus on simply doing good work. Your good works will follow you and you'll be rewarded.
Why is it that so many of us fail at achieving our New Year's resolutions? Well, because if we were to be honest, those resolutions aren't that important to us. Yes, we know that they are important -- but they are just not important to US.
How do you know if something is important? Imagine this. You had money set aside to pay your rent. Now, you can't find that money! What would you do? You would tear up your apartment trying to find that money, while promising to God that you'll change your life if you could only find that rent money.
Have you ever lost something so valuable that you'd do almost anything to find it? If you have, then you know what importance feels like.
So, keeping that feeling in mind, how important are those other goals that you want to achieve? Are they so important that you'd do almost anything to achieve them? Would you rearrange your schedule to achieve them? Would you pursue those goals until your circumstances force you to stop? If not, then those goals aren't that important to you.
Now, when you set those goals, they were very important to you. But what happened? Why aren't they all that important now? Because you allowed other things to come in and distract you. The more distractions you bring into your life, the less important your other goals become. Then eventually, you'd stop pursuing your goals until the next New Year's. Then the cycle would begin all over again: you'd set a goal, you'd do what you could to achieve it, distractions would come in, and you'd stop pursuing those goals.
Several times have I seen people attend my fitness classes faithfully, then they would drop off the face of the earth. Then suddenly, they would miraculously reappear as if resurrected from the dead, and they would be noticeably overweight. What happened?? They got distracted with life. The goal that was once important to them became non-important, while the non-important things became important.
Remember that if something is truly important to you, then you would pursue it until your circumstances FORCE you to stop. But usually, that's not the case, right? We always have circumstances that come up, but they don't usually force us to stop pursuing our goals. Instead, we ALLOW the circumstances to stop us.
One time long ago, I was working one-on-one with a client online. I only required her to do 10 minutes of exercises a day. Just 10 minutes. She gave me an excuse why she hadn't been doing her exercises. What was the excuse? Her mother broke her foot, so she had to attend to her mother. Seriously? Yes, that's bad for your mother, but do you have to attend to her every, single minute of the day? Of course not. A broken foot is not life-threatening and she'll be back to walking around in no time. Why couldn't she squeeze 10 minutes of exercises during the day? Because she allowed the circumstances to stand in her way.
As insensitive as this may sound...
Everything will somehow work out for you. Everyday, you will come across something that appears to be bad. You can't allow everything to pull your focus away from your goals. Otherwise, don't bother setting goals, because you'll never achieve them as long as you let circumstances take over.
If your goal is very important now, then there is no reason why it won't be important later. Your goal is ALWAYS very important. The distractions of your life simply convince you that they aren't important anymore.Those distractions would follow you wherever you go, and whenever you have a goal, they would tell you, "Nah, that's not really important." Eventually, you'd find yourself living a life of default: you just do whatever the distractions tell you to do. And you know what kind of a life that would be? A very miserable one.
Set a goal and finish it. If it was important when you set it, then it would still be important while you pursue.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.