Regardless of whether you believe global warming is real or not, you really should believe that small things over a period time can do amazing and great things - what I want to call TTOT (Tiny Things Over Time). From investing 10% of your income into an IRA account early in life to the formation of the grand canyon, to the habit of brushing your teeth, the examples of this fact are legion. And yet, we still don't DO anything to harness this - at least most of us don't.
Recently I finished Small Move, Big Change which also goes into great detail about the impact that small and simple actions can have on ones life satisfaction. We humans are not long-term thinkers, and it takes too much of our decision power and energy to constantly make big commitments to things that require us to see the results of our actions in the long term. So how can I create for myself simplified, actionable, daily tasks that will help me feel gratified while also helping me prepare for the unforeseen and long-term future?
- Listing 3 things things you are grateful for daily
- Maintaining a journal
- Exercising and meditation
- Daily random acts of kindness
The Positive Psychology movement, and the idea of doing the scientifically proven tasks above on a daily basis is a perfect example of TTOT. A tenant of the human condition (and the Declaration of Independence) is seeking happiness. Because of our inability to ponder the long term impact of our decisions now, many people do simply idiotic things in the hopes it will give them joy. Pornography, overworking at the office, media addiction, food, substance abuse, and others are all examples of surrogates, taking the place of actionable and proven tasks that will -in the long run- produce some true degree of happiness.
In counseling his son, a prophet from the Book of Mormon stated, "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." So there you go, TTOT is not only sponsored by Brad Pitt and the Mormon Church, but it is the driving principal of at least two bestselling business books, the result of thousands of hours of positive psychology research, and the subject of a major Massively Open Online Course!
What does it matter to you and me? Well, what Tiny Things Over Time are you doing? Where will those things lead you? What will you consequences might occur in your life and those around you because of active choices you make to influence your TTOT points?