Every moment of every day, we encounter innumerable “little things.”
Yet, despite this, it’s so easy for us to get swept up in the grand scheme of things and forget to pay attention to the small stuff. Today’s society is always pushing us to look ahead, forget the little things and focus on “the big picture.”
But somehow we need to learn how to pay attention to these little things because when put in perspective, they build up over the years and eventually come to define us. Here are just a few reasons why you should learn to pay attention to the little things in your life:
1. They keep us from getting overwhelmed by the bad stuff.
Whether you’ve missed your bus, stubbed your toe, lost your keys, broke up with your boyfriend or are just having a bad hair day, paying attention to the little positive things in life will help you shift your focus away from the negative things.
Take a moment to appreciate things that you may normally overlook (e.g. holding a door for a stranger, sharing a smile with a friend, going to lunch when your favorite sandwich is on special).
Learning to see the beauty in these little things will give you a new outlook and help positivity outweigh negativity in your life.
2. They teach us crucial life lessons.
It’s the little things in your life that will reveal your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses and your needs and desires.
If you pay attention to them, you can learn a lot about yourself and how the world works.
Then you can use what you’ve learned to work toward the bigger things.
3. They strengthen relationships.
Whether we’re talking about significant others, friends, family, customers or coworkers, it’s impossible to always show that you care in a big, extravagant way (unless you’re part of the Kimye relationship).
Big things matter every once in a while, but it’s the little things that keep our relationships alive on a day-to-day basis.
It's about appreciating things like a husband bringing his wife flowers, a mom packing a note with her child’s school lunch, the barista smiling at her customers every morning or the son who comes home to mow his elderly parents’ lawn.
These aren’t big spectacular “wow!” moments, but they’re the kind of little things that will go a long way in any relationship.
4. They leave us with some of the most important moments.
When fully appreciated, little things in our lives can be extremely meaningful and valuable.
Think of all the little moments in your life that give you that warm fuzzy feeling of happiness, like seeing a nephew smile for the first time or smelling your mom’s cooking.
These moments can’t exactly be described as epic, but they are precious and they deserve our attention.
5. They lead us to the bigger things in life.
It’s not every day that you land your dream job, go skydiving, get married or go on your fantasy vacation. But these monumental moments in life are all results of a lot of little things that led up to them.
Your marriage is a result of a lot of little moments of laughter and love, and your job is the result of a lot of little moments of working hard and making sacrifices.
If you live your life just looking forward to the big moments, you’ll lose a lot of those little things along the way.
Like Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” So enjoy your journey, and pay attention to the little things in life that will determine your destination.
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