The Small Things Count

What I wished I’d known when I started my career – #2

My marble jar
My marble jar. Marbles from Etsy, jar from Michael’s

I like to make BIG things happen. My internal sports coach screams: We gotta MOONSHOT this people. Are we doing ENOUGH?

And that has it’s place for sure. Striving for better is a major ingredient for positive change.

But when we’re talking about helping other people or surviving day-to-day challenges or simply earning a hard-earned thank you? It’s time to count those victories too. Helped someone ace an interview? Received a thank you note from a colleague? Finished up a document I labored over? WIN, WIN, WIN!

I used to overlook these wins. They weren’t BIG enough, but I was wrong.

#1: The small things add up. We do a lot more of them than the big things. In a year with thousands of small things, I might only achieve 3 big goals. I need to feel good about the small wins. I need to count them.

#2: The small things matter. Often they make someone’s life better. Often they change someone’s life. An introduction that was easy for me to make helped them get their next job — and then later I hear they received their first promotion. #thatcounts

#3 The small things are needed. Often they move the big things forward. Often they nurture my team. Often they put a much needed smile on someone’s face. It takes a lot of small tasks to make a healthy, thriving workplace.

Count them

So last year, I started counting my small victories, the little wins, the quick yay. I earned a marble for each one and collected them in a glass jar (pictured above). When I drop a marble in, there’s very satisfying PLUNK noise. I feel good, good things got done, and the jar is pretty on my desk. WIN, WIN, WIN.

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