Don’t (Do?) Sweat the Small Stuff


I read a book awhile back called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. It felt pretty self-helpy to me, but had some motivational moments.

To be sure, there are plenty of small things that don’t warrant a lot of concern. But the big things in life are often made up of the little things – to do them well we need to “sweat the small stuff”, so to speak.

In high school, our marching band was one of the best in the state. We practiced a lot. The thing is, we rarely played the whole show during rehearsals. We spent most of our time working on individual parts; a measure here, a movement there, until we had them down. Sometimes, this felt very tedious and mundane. But when the director had us put it all together, it created something beautiful.

Getting good at something big usually requires a willingness to zoom in on the specifics and figure out how to master them. This, in turn, requires awareness, curiosity, discipline, teachability, persistence, and faith that it will all pay off in the end.

Anytime you enjoy watching a professional at the top of their game – be it music, sports, acting, whatever – you can be sure that they’ve devoted a lot of time and attention to the small stuff. All that attention to detail ends up making their whole performance appear effortless…but we know it’s not.

What’s one big area of your life you’d like to see improvement in? Why not spend some time breaking down and working on the specifics? You might be surprised by the results.

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