How often do you think about the little things in life?
You know that it’s the little things that can have the biggest effects on your life.
Take my example. I once visited new friends who had an adorable Bichon. After playing with it, I just had to have one too. Now, some of you may know that I love Labrador retrievers, but for some reason, I was without a dog and the idea of having a dog that didn’t shed was appealing. (If you’ve ever owned a Labrador you know what I mean.)
I went home and started looking online. Purebred Bichons were expensive, but I’m a rescue dog type of person anyway so I looked for a rescued Bichon.
I found one in Fresno, which is a long way from my home in Northern California but without thinking about it, I got in the car and drove to Fresno.
The dog wasn’t friendly, but he warmed up to me that afternoon. After driving so far to pick him up, well, I couldn’t leave without him, right? So I paid $200 and went on my way.
It was all so unconscious of me. I met a dog, wanted the same dog, and got a similar dog, all within a period of just two weeks. Two weeks!
Well, that little dog brought a mountain of trouble into my life. He had temperament issues, and it didn’t matter how much training I paid for, he could still be mean. Don’t get me wrong; we had our sweet times as well, but there were times when I had to pull him back from kids and adults as he growled at them.
He also had a voracious appetite. So much that he ate himself into a $4,000 exploratory surgery that ultimately saved his life.
So between the cost of the dog, the price of training, and the medical bills, Conroy, who had been a rash decision, cost me a lot of money.
Then he went on to bite a boy, twice. When Conroy eventually died, I cried but I also vowed to never get a Bichon again and to return to my sweet Labs.
I share this story as an example of how a small, unconscious decision can have riveting effects on life.
I’ve been thinking about this because I’m finally reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Throughout the book, he makes the point that small decisions, made without mindfulness, can turn our lives into mini-disasters.
Or, small decisions can turn small savings into large savings or a few words a day can turn into a novel we never thought we’d have the time to write.
Hardy also has a formula for getting lucky that I think is nifty and part of his success formula. Here it is:
- “Preparation: By consistently improving and preparing yourself – your skills, knowledge, expertise, relationships, and resources – you have the wherewithal to take advantage of great opportunities when they arise (when luck “strikes”).
- Attitude: This is where luck evades most people, and where Sir Richard is spot-on with his belief that luck is all around us. It’s simply a matter of seeing situations, conversations, and circumstances as fortuitous. You cannot look for what you don’t believe in.
- Opportunity: It’s possible to make your own luck, but the luck I’m talking about here isn’t planned for, or it comes faster or differently than expected. In this stage of the formula, luck isn’t forced. It’s a natural occurrence, and it often shows up seemingly of its own accord.
- Action: This is where you come in. However this luck was delivered to you – from the universe, God, the Lucky Charms leprechaun, or whomever or whatever you associate delivering your good fortunate – it’s now your job to act on it. This is what separates the Richard Bransons from the Joseph Wellingtons.”
So what is it that you want to accomplish? Do you need to save money for a publicist? Do you need to finish your first novel? Do you want to embark on a series? Do you want to record your first audiobook? Do you want to learn more about social media or build your website? Do you want to lose weight?
With small steps taken every day, you can accomplish what you want. Just be mindful of the little things and write down your small steps and decisions every single day. Tracking is key to Hardy’s success formula.
Frances Caballo is a social media strategist and manager and the author of six books on social media. Click here to schedule an appointment with her.