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Sic Parvis Magna

Thus great things from small things

By Noah DouglasPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Sic Parvis Magna
Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

I've begun realising more that it's the little things that make up who we are.

Someone is a runner because they run a lot, someone is a writer because they write a lot, someone is a reader because they read a lot.

If you do something once but stop you are a 'one-hit wonder'- and that's only if you are successful. If you do something once and don't get successful you are just flaky and lack commitment.

I think there is too much stress put on individual decisions- we are led to believe that one choice could make or break us in our life. Like landing that 'big job' or nailing that test or winning that competition. In reality, these are mere stepping stones in the whole river which is life. The problem with these moments being highlighted as momentous is that people often give them more weight than the day-to-day rituals.

It is in these small, everyday tasks that we create who we want to be. You want to run a marathon, you run a few times a week. You want to write that book, you create dedicated time each day to write. You want to get through reading a long book, you read a few pages each day.

And to succeed these times must become sacred, non-negotiables to which you become a slave.

Great things are then become formulaic problems that you can solve. Success isn't a question of chance but instead can be achievable through small consistent actions.

Sourced from James Clear

Above you have a diagram from James Clear's book 'Atomic Habits' and you can see how small improvements correlate with exponential growth. I think if you were to look at some of the most creative people it is their small habits that they consistently bring about which allowed space for big things to happen.

The beauty about small decisions being the deciding factor to success means that it can be achievable and we don't have to beat ourselves up over a single event that goes wrong. We will always have the opportunity to learn and remedy that through consistently turning up and that is so reassuring.

Ultimately that means whatever failure we do doesn't matter as such- rather it is the small, easily changeable things that we do instead.

Saying this you cannot consistently do bad habits either as they too correlate to failure.

The notion that waking up and not doing your bed; clicking the snooze button and arriving late to that meeting; eating that one chocolate bar, and viewing it all as nonimportant is the issue. You have the wrong mindset.

As the quote goes- 'greatness comes from small beginnings'- but so do failures.

I view it as a success in our life, failures are formulaic too, so we don't actually have this big drop-off. Rather we curate these habits which are conducive to our downfall. So if we do do those small little habits which aren't healthy for us, of course, we are going to fail because we've set ourselves up badly.

I think there's a lot more predictability in the outcome of how we succeed or fail just within these small things we do.

I can see it in my life; days where I reached more for the unhealthy foods, my moods being down and me not being productive.

These have 99% of the time being because I don't stick to my routines. It's because I have lots of junk food in the house, it's because I didn't exercise. It's because I didn't look after my mental health.

Yet, when I do start my day well with the right small things it's a much better start.

Seeing this correlation actually gives me a laser focus to have these routines as a major priority in my life. Sometimes I'm accused of being a bit over the top when it comes to some of my habits but honestly, I don't care. I recognise they lead to me being a better person for myself and others and just because it seems extreme to some doesn't mean it is wrong.

"The way we do one thing is the way we do everything" - Iyanla Vanzant

The small things relate to the big things in more ways than we can imagine. Yet, people deny their correlation to justify bad habits.

So I think the challenge is to look for those small things and see how we can curate healthy habits that then manifest into the rest of our lives.

Ultimately, good or bad, all these different things in our lives start from small everyday choices. They can be ironed out or they can be unconsciously accepted. For success, we just need to discern the good from bad and stick to them.

I hope I can do so in my life but I guess only time will tell- I wish you the best with your small things too.


About the Creator

Noah Douglas

Perpetually curious.

Journeyman of faith†

Runner, writer, marketer.

Some of my other work ↓

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