Act without doing.
Work without working.
Taste that which has no flavor.
Make great the small,
make many the few.
Return harmfulness with good.
Prepare for difficulty while things are easy.
Take care of big things while they are still small.
The world’s most difficult problems
started out easy.
Great undertakings start from small deeds.
For this reason,
the sage never strives for greatness
and thereby has the ability to achieve great things.
One who lightly commits to great deeds
rarely keeps his word.
Don’t take things lightly
or they will surely become difficult.
The sage confronts difficulties
and therefore in the end has none.
-From the Tao Te Cing
Would you consider yourself to be a “Small Thinker” or a “Big Thinker”?
If you answered “Big”, then kudos to you my friend, keep rockin’ on! If your answer was “Small”, not to worry. You may actually be on to something.
Overall, having a large enough worthwhile goal to work towards is beneficial on many levels. Not only do you attract a larger pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but you also build massive character in the process. Keep in mind that who you become on your journey is more valuable and satisfying than what you get.
Thinking small however also has a few advantages.
When we think of someone being a small thinker, we tend to associate it with someone who maybe has a limited outlook on things.
Usually people who think small have adopted a set of beliefs that limits the possibilities they can see for themselves. I think at one time or another most of us have experienced a situation where we didn’t quite live up to our potential. That’s OK, and it’s perfectly normal. What’s important to remember is that beliefs are just stories we tell ourselves, and we can choose to re-write our stories anytime we choose to.
In the context of this article though, the Small Thinking I’m referring to is of a different sort. I’m talking about having a LARGE Thinking mindset while doing the small things that lead you to large results.
Here are a few pros you can expect from adopting this kind of thought process:
1. Less Overwhelm
It’s one thing to understand that there’s much to be done before we can live our dream-lives, but trying to do it all RIGHT NOW can quickly turn into a nightmare. By understanding that our “1000 mile journeys” are made up of single steps, we can then break our journeys down into manageable projects that won’t overwhelm us. The math is simple, keep taking enough small steps, and in time you’ll reach your destination.
There are many unknowns on the road ahead, so it’s difficult to plan for every single experience that may reveal itself to you as you take steps. Instead of trying to plan for every scenario, which can cause us not to take much action at all, focus on the success of the single step right in front of you. Tunneling your vision in this way allows for clarity in your process. If and when you are approached with roadblocks, it’ll be much easier to find your way around, over, under, or through it so you can nail your small step. Remember, the math is simple, and completing one step always reveals the next.
3. Greater Satisfaction
One of my favorite things about small-step-thinking is the satisfaction we get to experience along the way. It’s good to be patient enough on our paths so we can enjoy the sight and smell the roses. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that the journeys we sometimes want to desperately accelerate, never really ends. If we are constantly telling ourselves that we’ll be happy and fulfilled once we achieve (fill in the blank), studies show that we may be setting ourselves up for constant letdown. Rarely are people ever really excited forever with something we achieved or gained in the past. In other words, most new and shinny things become dull after some time.
Being able to appreciate the road, the creatures we pass, and even the obstacles in our way gives us much more to learn and grow from as we travel.
BABY ELEPHANT STEPS
Ever heard the riddle about eating an elephant? If not, here goes.
Basically someone asks the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is always, “One bite at a time.”
As you begin to envision the lifestyle you want to live, understand that it’s going to require specific and purposeful action-steps to turn your vision into a reality. Some of those steps will be doable now, and many of them will not be. My advice is to makes those steps bite-sized so you can more easily do what’s necessary.
Below is a 5 Small-Step Routine you can use to put small thinking and baby elephant steps into action.
1. Wake up 60 minutes earlier:
I know this sounds a little crazy, but hear me out.
The reason I suggest waking up 60 minutes earlier is give you time for more rest at the end of your routine. It may not sound enticing at this very moment, but being able to get more sleep after completing your new practice makes it easier to accomplish.
It sort of takes away the “sting” of your first alarm in the morning. Instead of feeling like your peaceful sleep is over from this point on, you’ll appreciate that fact that you can pick up where you left off shortly. Feel free to go through the following steps as fast or as slowly as you’d like. This is your special time here, so customize it to fit your lifestyle.
After all is said and done, back to sleep you go…If you can 😉
2. Listen to Powerful Audio: Tao Te Ching
It’s time to feed and nurture your thoughts and emotions.
The Tao Te Ching is an ancient text from the late 4th century BCE and is believed to have been written by a man named Lao Tzu. The title loosely translates to The Book of the Way of Virtue, and if you’re not familiar with the teachings in this book, I’d encourage you to check it out. It truly is a rich resource of timeless wisdom, perspective, and philosophy.
In it Lao Tzu teaches 81 chapters of this sound wisdom. One of my favorite chapters is the 61st, which speaks about achieving greatness by not striving for greatness. Again, it’s important that we have large enough visions to propel us forward on our journeys, but developing the disciplines we need to execute the necessary small actions is the only thing that will bring our visions to life.
I recommend listening to this audiobook as you complete the rest of the steps. You can find it here in it’s entirety for free.
Audible.com offers 30 Day Free Trials on their amazing audiobook memberships. For 30 whole days you get to submerge yourself in the life-changing wisdom coming from this book. If you don’t feel like it’s something you’d want to keep, don’t worry, all you have to do is cancel within 30 days and you won’t be charged a penny.
And BONUS, even if you cancel your membership, you still get to keep you new book. I guess amazon is just cool like that 😉
One cool thing about this particular version is that it’s read by one of my most favorite authors Dr. Wayne Dyer. Wayne has been a spiritual beacon of light for many decades and continues to inspire people around the world with his wisdom.
Trust me, you’ll love the level of insight and wisdom you gain from Dr. Dyer and the Tao Te Ching.
Staying hydrated is a major key (in my Dj Dkaled voice), and a great habit to form.
As you probably already know our bodies and brains are largely made up of water, so it’s important to feed the machine what it needs to succeed. Otherwise, what good is any success if the mind and body isn’t performing well? Our bodies are these amazingly intricate machines that require a little TLC to keep them working properly, so let’s do just that.
I recommend drinking Fresh water in addition to a Green drink (fruits and veggie shake), or Green tea.
Recommendations for WATER are as follows:
* Drink fresh filtered or store bought water to eliminate your exposure to toxins
* Aim for or work up to 1 Liter
Green drinks are amazing for hydration, and more importantly for putting actual sun-energy into our bodies and brains. Water is great and necessary, but it’s not necessarily filled to the brim with essential micro and marco-nutrients our bodies NEED to perform optimally. The great thing about them is that they’re super easy to create, and you don’t have to wreck your brain trying to figure out what to use.
Recommendations for GREEN DRINKS goes like this:
* Use dark green leafy veggies (Spinach, Kale, Bok Choy etc)
* Include more veggies than fruit (A 3/1 ratio is a good guideline)
* Include other veggies of your choice (Cucumber, Carrots, Celery, etc. The more colors the better)
* Add a teaspoon of organic Coconut Oil and/or some Nuts and Seeds (If you’re not allergic)
* Add a bit of Chlorella and/or Spirulina to REALLY enhance the nutritional value of the drink
*If you’re not familiar with Chlorella or Spirulina, here’s a Youtube video you can reference.
If you’re the tea type, have at it. The choice is yours!
Recommendations for TEA looks like this:
* Green Tee
I’m no expert on tea just yet, but I do know there are many benefits from drinking the stuff.
Personally I love to start my morning with the water, then the green drink, then finish with green tea. The benefits range from having cancer fighting antioxidants, to burning fat, to enhancing your brain-power just to name a few. Keep in mind that this is only what I do because it works for me. You’ll have to experiment with what works best for you and your lifestyle.
4. Sun Salutation (Yoga)
There’s absolutely nothing like using your mind and body to channel your focus and energy. Have you ever worked out before and after the workout had a clearer head or a greater sense of wellbeing? That’s because our minds, bodies, and thoughts are absolutely synced. They work together like peanut-butter and jelly.
Feel free to do any kind of exercise you’d like, but I do recommend some sort of yoga.
Being as though you’ve just woken up, the muscles in your body are going to be considered cold. It’s important to introduce movement (heat) to the muscles slowly as not to injure yourself. Performing a few thoughtful Sun Salutations is a powerful tool you can use to sync up your mind, body, thoughts.
*If you’re not familiar with Sun Salutations, here’s a Youtube video you can reference.
5. Sit for 3-5 minutes in silence
After you’ve woken up early, soothed your mind with wisdom, hydrated and saluted the sun, it’s time to let all of that energy circulate and settle. This is the grounding phase. This is where all of the “noise” of the hectic outside world begins to vanish, and where your intuition becomes stronger. It’s a chance to be mindful and allow your inner-voice to hear what the universe is trying to communicate with you.
Small note, don’t try not to think. That’s what the mind does. Just allow yourself to passively observe those thoughts without judgment. They can and probably will be random at times, but that’s natural. Look at it as if your mind is just flipping through channels before it finds something of interest and value and tunes all the way in.
If you can manage to tune in, trust me, you’ll never be the same.
THE WRAP UP
Success attracts more success, and energy flows where attention goes. Therefore exercising any or all of these small steps is sufficient enough to draw larger successes to you.
When you allow yourself to wake up a little earlier to nurture your soul, you’re in the attracting process. Each time you sip your water, shake or tea in the morning, you’re in the process of attracting something bigger. When those muscle of yours begin to express themselves through yoga or any other type of exercise, guess what, things are being attracted to you. The same goes for the listening to wisdom that nurtures your soul and your silent time, something attractive is coming your way because of it.
All of these small activities are connecting you with a version of yourself that will amaze you, if you allow it to. These may seem irrelevant now in comparison to your overall vision, but remember…
” The sage never strives for greatness
and thereby has the ability to achieve great things.”
Have a super day 🙂