Most of us have the tendency to chase the next big thing. We move from goalpost to goalpost, never stopping to catch our breath. However, I’m here to tell you that’s the wrong mentality. Here are 5 reasons why the little things in life are the most important.
Sure, big moments are important. We’ll always remember when we bought our first car and had our first kiss. But the day-to-day moments comprise more of our lives than the milestones. Life is made up of the the good morning text from your best friend. The hug from your grandchild. The smile from your neighbor. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of these moments. They are the foundation upon which are lives and memories are built.
“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock HolmesAdvertisement.
Life is one big butterfly effect. Every action sets into motion a never-ending chain of events. You don’t just start out running a marathon. Instead, you take baby steps, building up your strength and stamina day by day and jog by jog. Those small victories that you’re so quick to dismiss—they’re setting you up for bigger payoffs. Don’t ever overlook any moment of your life, no matter how small and inconsequential it may seem at the time. They’ll certainly create bigger moments somewhere down the line.
“The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things . . . the trivial pleasure like cooking, one’s home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.”
― Barbara Pym
You never know the impact something like a smile or a kind word can have on somebody. Maybe you taking the time to chat with the barista really brightened their day. Or maybe opening the door for a stranger made them believe in the goodness of humans again. Your little acts of kindness might be huge for somebody else.
“Find gratitude in the little things and your well of gratitude will never run dry.”
― Antonia Montoya
There’s nothing wrong with setting goals, and you should always celebrate each accomplishment. However, those big moments—getting a long-awaited promotion, finding your soulmate—can make us lose touch with ourselves. The little moments help center our perspectives. They make us even more grateful for the bigger moments and keep us humble.
“He who does not wish for little things does not deserve big things.”
― Belgian proverbAdvertisement.
Happiness is a state of mind. Thoughts that begin with “If only…” are negative and lead only to sorrow. Don’t believe the myth that the next big thing will bring you joy. That new car will only make you happy for so long. That promotion at work won’t stave off sadness forever. Strive for contentment, not happiness. Find joy and fulfillment in all the little moments. Most importantly, be grateful. Even when life is hard, it’s beautiful. Don’t ever be so focused on one tree that you lose sight of the entire forest.
“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
– Robert Brault.
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Originally published October 17, 2023