Cultivating the Small Moments


It’s easy to get caught up in big plans and big moments in your life – to live for them and nothing more.  You might recognize the litany:

“I can’t wait until…

  • I’m grown up
  • I can drive
  • I get my own car
  • I leave the house
  • I’ve graduated
  • I start dating someone seriously
  • I have a place of my own
  • I land that job
  • I get married
  • I buy a house
  • I have a child
  • I get the promotion
  • I get out of debt
  • I lose 20 pounds
  • I feel better
  • I’m on vacation
  • The kids are in school
  • The kids are graduated and out of the house
  • The kids visit
  • I move
  • The kids get married
  • I’m a grandparent
  • I retire

It’s great to have plans, to work toward goals. But you really only have today, today to make a difference. I read a book some time ago called The Power of a Penny by Glenn Dromgoole. While I don’t remember the individual anecdotes all that well, the overwhelming message was the power of small things, small gestures, small moments. The first story in the book was about the power of a penny…that seemingly insignificant, worthless coin. Of course, the story was about how pennies aren’t insignificant. It got me thinking about how little things add up to become big things. Things we do daily, or could do daily. The things we should do daily.

It’s not every day that we get married, but to love? Yes, love is something we can share and feel daily.

It’s not every day that we graduate from school, but to learn something new? Like Steve Jobs so famously quoted, can we “stay hungry, stay foolish” everyday? Yes, satisfying a hunger to learn something new is something we can do daily.

And it reminds me of the quote by Annie Dillard, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” I’d rather be known for how I lived the individual moments of my days than my seemingly big moments. Anyone can be great for one big moment. Who, however, is disciplined enough to be consistently great in all the small, seemingly unnoticed ways?

What can we do daily? What are the small moments, the small actions, that manifest a good life? What matters?

Breathe. Stretch. Floss. Smile. Hug. Kiss. Laugh. Love. Nourish. Compliment. Give. Thank. Think. Learn. Create. Encourage. Dare. Sweat. Pray. Praise. Savor. Reflect. Rest.

Perhaps if we cultivate the small moments in life, master the simple things we can do daily, we enjoy. We become one with joy, today and every day.Calvin and Hobbs enjoy

I’ll take that.


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