“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
This quote caught my eye. What does that mean for us, for the people who struggle to juggle everything on our plates, to move our goals forward but not wipe ourselves out?
What does that mean for you if you want to make a difference in the world? Or overcome your anxiety? And be happier.
How can you be faithful to yourself in small things? Is that really where your strength lies? I think it is.
Sometimes the clients I work with want to make big plans for themselves. They plan to mediate an hour a day, sign up to run a triathlon or find a new house or file for divorce. They dream of quitting their job and being free. The bigger, more dramatic the fix, the better!
But really, is a giant gesture the salvation we’re looking for?
When I hear the distress, the pain, and the quick and “sure-to-work” solution, I always feels my stomach flip. I know in my gut, this is not the answer. At least, not the first answer.
I feel compelled to slow them down. I want to say, “Why not start small?” We instinctively know this when we are little kids. No pressure. We just have to learn to walk, talk, read, add. (Just to call out a few big tasks).
Now, why does a big plan feel easier to tackle than a small one?
With a grand plan we feel more alive. We think this new deal will be quick and painless.
In reality, those powerful significant changes take a lot of work. They take a large number of small steps.
Often we just can’t keep it up.
What if you started with the smallest possible change?
- Take a day off work.
- Speak up when you disagree
- Begin a savings account to fund your dream
- Take a walk after lunch
- Meditate for just 5 minutes
- Make a list of tiny ways to care for yourself
- Eat a salad
- Write an outline
There are so many small ways we can be faithful to our ideals and to ourselves. When we practice doing the small steps, we build strength.
With small steps in the direction we choose, we can believe in ourselves again.