We Don't Do Big Things


We’ve been discussing various topics related to execution and succession lately.

Realizing these two aspects of an effective, improved life entails a great maxim we tend to ignore: we don’t do big things; big things happen.

The follow-up maxim to complete the former is that small things don’t happen; we have to do them.

Yin and yang


Most of us have ambitions for our lives and those of our progeny, ie we aspire to big things. That’s not a problem, keeping the end in mind is always imperative to realizing our ambitions.

Keeping the end in mind does not mean, however, that we obsess over the future and overlook the present.

Presence in our lives and micro-level actions or the “small things” is the way to achieve the ending we envision. We have no control over the future or the “big things” we want to see outside of the opportunity of dutiful preparation offered by the present-day.

When we do the small things, the big things happen.

Both “things” are important and complimentary. The small ones are possible to achieve today, and the big ones are achieved by stacking up more and more days of small achievement.

Necessary drudgery


What many of us do is try and achieve big things today. As much as we would like for that to be how it works, it simply isn’t.


Not only is there no clear way to achieve something big today, the ensuing confusion that results from trying to do so means the small things that really count and are achievable in the present day get ignored.

This is a truly difficult cycle to recover from because we are consistently giving up the future we’d like to see each day that we ignore the small things we don’t get excited by.

It is in the drudgery of the present day that we achieve a vibrant and “big” future.

If we’re serious about improvement, that drudgery cannot be avoided. It can be embraced, though. We can grow to appreciate necessary drudgery when we understand the great implications implanted in our willingness to do it.

Our futures, quite literally, depend on it.

Humble pie


When we do the small things that are not glamorous and will not take care of themselves, we’ll start executing, succeeding, and experiencing lasting improvement.

At that point we’re ripe for satan’s picking. He can easily whisper to us that we did something big and are above those who haven’t engaged in the arduous process necessary for improvement.

Understanding how small things are done and big things happen provides a framework for improvement as well as perspective to stay humble in the face of success.

When satan comes to whisper his poisonous venom we can respond with, “no, I didn’t do something big because big things aren’t done.”

We can do this if we believe that big things happen when small things are done, and that small things are done through God’s permission. He can easily not grant us the ability to do them, so achieving a small thing is something to be very grateful for – not arrogant because of.

In regards to being above those who don’t do the small things like us, we can do the small thing of telling satan to get lost. One day that may lead to a big thing called humility.




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