Making major changes in our lives may not always immediately mean the big changes like relocating to another part of the world, or finally hitting that 7-digit salary job. These major changes may usually start with a simple desire for improvement in an area of our lives and almost everyone has this desire lurking somewhere.
We usually want something more: more happiness, more peace, more friends, more success, and of course, more money. But remember that until a desire is acted upon intentionally and relentlessly, we cannot attain the measure of success that we expect.
Small changes to our daily lives and routine are important because they make the big changes possible. They can be likened to chasing down the little foxes that spoil the vine. We are usually aware of these little foxes, but often times do not feel the need to make any major changes about them because we think that they do not have any foremost impact on the overall outcome – the vine. But, the cumulative impact of the foxes on our vines should inspire us to frequently consider what small changes can steer our ship in a more desirable direction.
Are you looking to make a significant change in any area of your life that will go a long way to improve the overall outcome? Here are a few small things to consider which can influence your vine over time…
- Stop comparing: Isn’t it interesting how many people derive emotional satisfaction in being taller than others? This is something they have absolutely no control over! You must realize that whatever you do or have, there is always someone with something better or more. So, quit comparing, run your course and tend your vine. The grass is not always greener on the other side; the grass is greener on the side that is well watered.
- Own the first few hours of your day: You should ruthlessly guard this time because it sets the tone for your day and ultimately your life. This should involve your quiet time, planning, meditating, and the revival of your body, mind, and soul. Don’t joke with it, it is what you give to it that you will get from it.
- Tame the desire to always be right: Being right at all cost might fulfill an inner need you have, but this is often at the expense of someone else. Keep your point of view, speak up for your values, but be mindful not to win the little battles only to lose the war.
- Think about investing and not just saving: are you looking to improve your finances? Then, having the right saving culture is first very important. Once you can achieve that, you can then mature the saving culture into an investment culture and project into the long term to maximize your present value.
- Schedule time to invest in others: Mentor someone. You’ve been through something that someone can learn from. Don’t keep the knowledge you have, that is a resource you cannot afford to waste.
- Replace ‘No’ with ‘No, thanks’: Learning to say no is one thing, but doing it courteously is another. For some of us, the fox is in the former. We are overwhelmed with being all things to all men but it doesn’t always work that way. For others, it’s the habit of a harsh no. You may need to practice cushioning your no. Be mindful of this; a good-hearted ‘no’ can draw empathy instead of instigating anger.
- Donate time to a charitable cause: It’s a call to selflessness. This is not just about giving money for tax benefits. It is more about pausing to give time and affection to a cause that benefits humanity. You need to get out of yourself sometimes and walk into empathy, it improves your vine.
- Keep the welfare of the elderly on the plan: We often pray for a long life and hope to be part of this often-forgotten group one day. So, let’s not just keep them in mind, but put them on the plan, and teach our children to do so.
- Challenge your routine: Must you take the same route to work every day? Must you always chill at the same lounge and with the same friends? Must your shop open at 7am every day? Must your phone be on every day of the year, and must it accompany you everywhere, even the bathroom? Must you always spend your quiet time talking and praying? How about listening for a change? Sometimes, you need to get out of your routine and change things up a bit, maybe a life-changing opportunity may come your way.
In other words, whatever you need to do and however you have to do it, think of your own small changes and then do them quickly and frequently. Remove the foxes and your vine is certainly bound to flourish.
By: Chidi Iwe