Saturday, December 8, 2012


For many people small bits of work are a source of boredom. They consider small things to be negligible and not worthy of attention. Paying attention to small things hurts their idea of dignity.  They want to do great things or exciting things. But small things appear insignificant only to the people who cannot see the real potential in the small things. 

Not all little things are little. Many little things can have big results – a small idea can produce a profitable business, a small seed holds potential of a big tree, a small kindness can begin a long friendship and a wise word can change a life’s direction. Nothing good that is said or done is inconsequential. Small things should not be disparaged; they may hold vast potential.  Let us remember that even a thousand mile journey starts with a single step.  All big triumphs are a culmination of many small efforts.

At the same time little things can have big, unintended and unwanted repercussions as well. Most of us are not undone by big things. Those are more easily recognized and readily avoided. Small things are often your undoing – the road not taken, the overlooked opportunity, the unnoticeable omission or the little temptation. There are many tender moments that are spoiled by intention or lack of attention – an achievement not celebrated, an anniversary forgotten, a thank you unspoken, a kindness unappreciated, a person not valued, and many similar opportunities for good that are overlooked. Such things happen every day in businesses, families, marriages, and personal relationships when the smallest things – someone’s countenance, tone of voice, body language, attitude, words, or even their silence – can assist or resist progress, build or dampen enthusiasm, and develop or disparage an idea.

Amiel Henri Frederic said, “What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure which, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence. One single black speck may be the beginning of gangrene, of a storm, of a revolution.”

Swami Vivekananda said, “If you really want to judge the character of a man, look not at his great performances. Every fool may become a hero at one time or another. Watch a man do his most common actions; those are indeed the things which will tell you the real character of a great man. Great occasions rouse even the lowest of human beings to some kind of greatness, but he alone is the really great man whose character is great always, the same wherever he is.”

 Benjamin Franklin said, "For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost; being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail." There is an old saying, "Men trip not on mountains, they stumble on stones." 

 Every enterprise begins small, appearing insignificant at its early stage except to those who see potential others do not. The Bible advises, “Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”(Zechariah 4:10).

We have found in our times that the most powerful force is the splitting of the smallest thing. In the splitting of the atom a succession of explosions can be set off to cause the biggest explosion the world has ever known. This has taught us that the power is not in the big but in the little.  If a task is worth doing, it is worth doing right. If it is not worth doing well, it is not worth doing. If something needs to be done, it is important. If it is worthy of our attention, it is worthy of our best efforts.

So do not measure a task by its size. Just do what there is to do. Greatness is often wrapped in simplicity. A person who is unwilling to do the little will not have the opportunity to do the big. A person who has not done well the little is not prepared or qualified to do the big. Do not weigh a task. If it is before you, do it and do it well.  The only way to excel is to do the little things with great enthusiasm. Everyone does the big things. They are the things that challenge each of us. Consequently, the difference between success and failure must be in our attention towards little things. Real achievers have found that "little drops of water make the mighty ocean and little grains of sand make the pleasant land."

-        -  N.GANESHAN

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