Sweat the small stuff


As an older member of the PDXSX, I can offer this piece of advice — the small things in life matter more than the big things.

When I was younger, I thought the “big” things — like where I went to college or who I would marry — would define my happiness and success.

But the things that have really made a difference throughout my life are much smaller, like trying to wake up early every day, smile and make a good first impression, eat healthy, and other daily habits. (Key word — trying.) Studies even show that small changes in body language can be enough to make or break a job interview.

This is a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over — I still put too much weight on the big stuff, when I should be paying attention to those tiny daily habits.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” wrote Aristotle, some 2,000 years ago.

In my internship, I once again made the mistake of focusing on the big stuff instead of the details.

Finding the most badass story ideas — not that important.

Getting there on time, taking the time to talk to coworkers every day, expressing enthusiasm — much more important. Luckily I didn’t completely forget the little stuff, but I could have focused on it more than I did.

As a journalist, I have the delusion that I’m going to write a story that will make a difference in the world, as I wrote in my last entry.

But as a member of the workforce, the small daily habits are more important than the Big Story Idea.

I guess it all comes down to, “put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others,” as a beloved professor used to say.

I have to be a productive worker and journalist before I can write that world-changing story. And in order to do that, I have to focus on the small stuff.

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5 Responses to Sweat the small stuff

  1. Great advice, Rebecca! I’ve also learned that it is so important to pay really close attention to the small details that will eventually get you to your goal.

  2. darlenef1 says:

    I agree, Rebecca! It’s very important to know that small daily habits are just as significant as the bigger picture. Great work!

  3. Adam Hegstrom says:

    Great stuff! It is so easy to get caught up focusing on the big end goal to the point where you stop enjoying the little things. It is amazing how much more positive life can be when you find enjoyment in even the little things.

  4. Amy Hogan says:

    It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely important to not forget the little things in life! The habits we maintain now in our daily life will indeed be beneficial to the bigger picture later on in life. Thanks for the reminder, Rebecca!

  5. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Rebecca. I totally agree.

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