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Thursday, January 31, 2013

AYD - Jan 31,2013 - Start Small, Grow Strong

" Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs.  Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.  If you do the little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of the themselves."
- Dale Carnegie

I remember well the day that a man I did not know, took a few moments to show me how to properly sweep the floor in a large fabrication shop.  Did you know there is a proper technique to sweep more efficiently and to prevent excess dust rising up?  I did not, but I was shown.

This moment may seem trivial to many, but I recall it as one of my milestone moments in my start to grow and understand the value of the small jobs.  I later went on to be the only labourer to keep my position, because I understood the importance of this small job, and my desire to do it well.  It is not that I was the best floor sweeper; rather it was because I began to take more pride in my work, just for me - but the decision makers were watching, and the cycle began.

I took pride in my efforts, I did my task well, while I did not notice - my efforts sent a message to my supervisors, it defined a little about my ethic, I was offered more opportunities and new tasks and the cycle began again.  There are alot of lessons a young man can learn in this that are unspoken but they show themselves as we find moments in our lives taking us back to a memory, and we make the connections.
"Ah Hah!"
As I later encountered larger tasks, I was able to draw on these little lessons that had become automatic in some ways, and offered a good starting foot print to get big jobs that initial momentum.  It is the start that often stops many of us from achieving the results we desire, so if we have established a winning record on those small tasks, we are well armed to challenge the big ones.  It could easily be considered training.

Will I ever knowingly use the sweeping lesson again?  Certainly - as I embrace the larger task of being a father - I will show my son how to sweep out the garage.  I will take the opportunity to tell him the story as an extention to my initial lesson,  and attempt to show my son that a small boring task can be more engaging when given an alternate perspective on the meaning and value of it.  He will see the results of his efforts.  The bigger picture will present itself as he turns around to see his small accomplishment.  That small job, will afford me the opportunity to define the value earlier to him, than it ever was made visible to me. ( He may not see my grand vision at the time...so I may need to repeat it ... each summer... until he is 25... but I will do it... for him.)

Can you look back on a time in your life when a simple small job stood out and showed it's value? 
Something done well, that turned in an enlightening return?
Something that you may now reference back to, and draw on.

Our energy today might be on getting things done as we move toward the weekend.
Look at the little jobs - and make the effort to apply just a little more focussed attention to detail.

Good morning.
Good Success.

Pierre Couturier
Husband, Daddy, Author... and Job List Maker.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Start small, grow strong. For me, Pierre, it was making my bed. Mom taught me two important things about making my bed. One, to make it first thing every morning. A small accomplishment to begin each day. Two, to savor the moment each night when I slid into my neat and tidy sanctuary after a chaotic day of small accomplishments and small failures. All was well in my wee world and I slept like a princess.