Life is the culmination of a countless small things.
Our bodies are made up of organs, cells, atoms, quarks, then something else that scientists are trying to identify. Everyone and everything in the universe is made of, as Carl Sagan calls it, “stardust.”
Pretty cool when you think of yourself like that.
Life is a series of tiny events: successes, failures, cups of coffee, smiles, pleasure, pain, torments, joy, bliss, etc. Everything in your life, big or small, is comprised of even smaller units that form the greater whole.
If you can realize this concept, and use it to your advantage, you have a powerful template for accomplishing anything.
Your health is the result of the thousands of tiny decision you make in any given week, month or year. What to eat is a decision just like what not to eat is. To take the stairs or to stand in an elevator is a decision. To take a walk or watch TV; to eat slow or fast; the list goes on and on. Each of these tiny choices form the whole that is what you see when you look in the mirror.
This concept also applies to your career, business or profession. Each day you perform at your best is another step towards success. Each day you slack off moves you a step away from your goals. Each healthy meal you eat builds and repairs your body, while eat bite of junk food takes you in the opposite direction.
The same applies to your relationships. Each time you express gratitude for in your relationship, you strengthen it. Each time you criticize your partner—no matter how justified you think you are—you weaken the relationship.
And so on and so on and so on for life, happiness, health and success.
Did you see the Jobs movie or read the Steve Jobs biography? If so, you’ll remember the part where the programmer was fired (by Jobs) because he suggested that the font didn’t matter.
That’s the thinking I’m talking about.
The best businesses in the world pay attention to detail. The smallest, seemingly inconsequential details are always considered and optimized.
The best anything in the world is only the best because someone has taken the time to refine the smallest points that everyone else ignores or fails to see.
Maybe you should let that sink in for a moment.
One thing I’ve seen my entire life on my path to success is most people around me are average because they do average. It’s as simple as that.
It’s not because they are lazy or unintelligent, it’s because they don’t spend the time to obsess over the details. (Granted, some are lazy, and some could use a few more IQ points, but even the laziest or dumbest person can get better results by focusing on the details.)
I remember a story I once read about a story of a successful Vegas gambler that was mentoring a young gambler. I totally forget where I read this, but the story goes like this:
The seasoned pro takes the young gambler to a strip club. They sit at a back table. The pro then takes a short, sawed-off shotgun out from under his coat and places it under the table for the young gambler to see. He tells him to look around and watch. He then cocks the shotgun under the table. A few people turn their heads to try to see where the sound came from while the majority of the patrons take no notice. He then tells the young aspiring gambler—and I’m paraphrasing here)— “Never play with those that turned their head, sit with the rest that didn’t; they are the suckers.”
This is the kind of thing I’m talking about. The average person is the sucker; he doesn’t think about, let alone notice, the details. He is largely unaware of the world around him.
And this is exactly how you don’t want to be.
Notice everything (especially when someone cocks a gun a few tables away from you).
Be aware of your surroundings; what’s going on, the people.
Notice the body language and facial expressions of people; you’ll be amazed at what you see.
Most of all, be aware of the smallest, itty-bitty details in your life. That’s where your path to greatness lies.