It’s the little things that count
A simple cliché we’ve all heard over and over again. It’s so familiar. Teenagers still roll their eyes after hearing it on the back of, “no, we can’t go shopping to get that brand new tech gadget, just be happy playing in the backyard.”
Another cliché, as common and comfy as an old jumper, sums it up. They were, in fact, right on the money.
The thing is, it’s no small thing to have a backyard, depending on which country, city or town you were born in. It’s no small thing to have a house, or loving parents or even the ability to whine about not having the new iPhone.
Whatever we’re born in to, we tend to become used to and blinded by. For many children, a backyard is boring compared to a new computer game. You can’t brag about a backyard to your friends, as everyone has one, right? But, imagine what a safe, grassy, insect-filled backyard would be like for a child in a war-torn country, living in a bullet-ridden bomb shelter?
It’s the little things that count from birth
We allow children to become pre-programmed by our own lack of awareness. We all come into the world knowing there is magic in everything and that it’s the little things that count. Five or so years down the track, we think magic is only in what Toby from next door has because we don’t have it. Adults complain about the ungrateful attitudes of children, but children didn’t teach themselves to be ungrateful, did they?
Your intellect, or what you’ve been taught by your society, along with your chosen perception, automatically tells you if an experience or an object is small or big in the eyes of the world. There’s a vast difference between intellect and intelligence. Intellect is what our minds are clogged with during years spent in school. It’s information repetitively drummed into our heads until we can repeat it without thought.
And it’s obviously useful.
Intellect versus intelligence
When you’re intellectually advanced, you can astound people with knowledge, confound with facts and figures and confuse with terminology. But to have intelligence, the intellect must blend with emotion and intuition. Intelligence is fostered by risk-taking, creativity and asking questions, instead of robotically accepting information via education, the media, parents or bosses. It’s not disrespectful to ask questions and to think for yourself, in fact, it shows a lack of intelligence not to do so.
It’s the intellect, without intelligence, that encourages the ego to lash out and disregard the little things in favour of big things. For example, let’s say you’re going on a holiday. Fantastic. It’s in two weeks. In the meantime, everything else seems small, in comparison to the big holiday. So, you automatically resent work, sunny skies make you wish time would hurry up, happy people are irritating and everything is a drama simply because all you want to do is go on a holiday.
You’ve just wasted two weeks worth of opportunities for happiness in the little things, waiting around for your big thing.
Have a look at these two lists.
Buying a house
Going on a holiday
Falling in love
Getting a degree
Walking in nature
Smelling delicious food
Did you automatically place the first list in the big events category and the second list in the small category?
If so, why? Really think about it. Laughing, in the moment, is just as fun as going on a holiday. Waking up each day is more of a miracle than buying a house, smelling delicious food when you’re hungry gives you the same feeling of anticipation as falling in love and walking on the beach can be as much of a journey as getting a degree.
You can experience all of these little events, each and every day. When you cease to determine your level of excitement based on an imaginary ‘small to big’ scale in life, you realise that every moment of your life can be, and is, full of love and excitement.
When you realise that it’s the little things that count, you begin to understand there are no little things. You stop waiting around or unnecessarily striving for perceived big things. All things are just…things, and you can place importance on whatever you like, whenever you like.
So, why not choose to place importance on feeling excitement every day, rather than waiting around for the society-implied, big moments?
Then, you’ll remember that everything is perfect and magical as it is, and life itself is much BIGGER than any material thing, ambition, or routine you’ve become a slave to.
When it’s the little things that count, everything counts, which is the very meaning of fulfilment.