Day 7: Little Things Add Up
Oh little things. In the moment of doing them, they seem so unglamorous. Some small effort, but done regularly. Every day, many times a day, or several times a week. But always doing them, without fail, consistently. The magic that is not so magical if you’ve been the one doing the little things is that they do add up and yield results.
Stairs for example. When I moved to Toulouse, and then to Paris, and adjusted to pedestrian life instead of a car life, I decided to always take the stairs in the metro. Unless I was really tired (and even then I often pushed myself), I always took the stairs. My first year in Paris, I ate a lot of bread, cheese, and desserts. A yoga teacher friend of mine was in town last January and asked how I stayed so slim despite eating cheese and desserts. I said it was from the walking and the stairs. I wasn’t doing any exercise last year other than walking and climbing stairs, and I’m sure it helped me work off what I was eating.
Big changes, big projects, big achievements don’t get accomplished in one quick step. When you’re head down executing your little steps every day, sometimes it seems like the progress is really slow, or that you’re not making progress at all. I think of climbing a big mountain. Looking up is intimidating. Looking down is encouraging, because we see how far we’ve come. But we have to focus on what’s in front of us, the step we have to climb right now. Even though it seems small, it is taking us a little further up the mountain. Our legs are only so long, and there are only so many steps we can take in a day, but every one makes a difference.
The great and humbling thing is that when you get to the top, you remember all the effort you put in every day. Every little thing you regularly did that seemed small at the time got you closer to the peak. Yay! And I mean JUMPING UP AND DOWN HOORAY!!! when you get to the top of that mountain. 🙂