Brushing Off the Little Things

First things first: keeping small inconveniences in their place.  The key to this is knowing what you want.  I mean, specifically, what are your big picture goals?  If you don’t know, then you should stop reading this and give the question some serious thought.  OK, I’m now going to assume you know what your big picture goals are.  Maybe you want a family, a house,  or financial security.  We can even go a little smaller scale.  Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds, or be able to squat 315 pounds, or learn Spanish.   The key to making sure little things don’t matter is knowing what the big things are.

First let me make a quick note about making goals in general.  You should always be very SPECIFIC when you set goals.  For instance, “I want to lose 10 pounds” is a specific goal, while “I want to lose some weight” is not specific enough. 

The thing is, you want to be able to track your progress in a satisfactory way.  If your goal is to lose 10 pounds and you’ve lost 2 so far you can say to yourself, “Hey I’m 20% there!”  On the other hand, if your goal was to just lose some weight, are you done after 2 pounds?  Or did you have a number closer to 20 in mind? 

When you make goals specific it is easier to stay motivated, and see them through to completion.  I’m pretty sure there is scientific research out there about this, but speaking strictly from my own experience this definitely holds true for me.  Now back to the title…

If you know what you are working towards, and I mean the stuff that’s really important to you, then it’s much easier to write off life’s little inconveniences.  Let’s say that buying a house and losing 10 pounds applies to you.  That moron on the interstate just cut you off?  Good thing they didn’t rob you, or destroy the housing market in your area, or forcefeed you doughnuts instead.

Of course, it’s really really hard to suppress that initial flare of anger, but that’s OK.  It’s OK to get mad when something doesn’t go your way.  Just let the flare hit, but then ask yourself whether this small thing messes up any of your big goals.  If not, just embrace the fact that it upset you, and then forget about it. 

Because I like to obsessively think about my big goals, I usually just distract myself by choosing one of my big goals and thinking about how I’m going to get there.  Because let’s be honest, you don’t achieve big goals by accident.  It takes time and planning.  But that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

I’m going to keep this post brief, but there are two main takeaways.  First is that you need to take time in your life to consider what’s important to you.  BE SPECIFIC.  There are many reasons to do this, but the following snippet from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” sums it up nicely,

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

In short, how are you ever going to reach your goals if you don’t know what they are?  You won’t.  The second takeaway is that once you know what your big goals are, you can leverage that knowledge to help increase your tolerance for life’s little speedbumps. 

‘Hope you are all staying happy this summer.


1 thought on “Brushing Off the Little Things

  1. Pingback: What I did with $4000 | The Happy Potamus

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