Saturday, March 23, 2013

Something small could really be huge.

     Let's face it: we tend to look for the big things in life. We want to know what major changes are on the way for us. Big big big: it's the American way. But the small things can be where the beginning of something huge may be taking place. So when you see something small, don't brush it off, looking for something bigger, because you don't know where that small thing might lead.
     American architect Julia Morgan said:

Never turn down a job because you think it's too small; you don't know where it could lead.

     I once played golf on this public course where they put you with whoever is next in line. Well, I'd gone by myself and the course was crowded so I knew I'd be getting put with three other people, and sure enough, when the time came, that's what happened.
     Two of the three others I was sent out with seemed to be friends and while friendly they pretty much kept to themselves. The other person was an older gentleman— I'd say in his late sixties— and he seemed to have a lot of dignity and presence about him. I was really curious about the guy and as the round went on we got to talking. I asked him what he did.
     He was the president of a university. A major one too. Well, we kept playing (golf on public courses can take five hours) and kept talking. (Me mostly listening.) The man ended up pretty much telling  me his life story. He'd been in the army. Used the GI Bill to further his education when he got out. Went to law school. Worked for Governor Adlai Stevenson II. Was the president of a Fortune 500 corporation. And, as I said, the president of the university.
     I asked him: "Of  all those positions you held, which ones did you pursue with a conscious plan and which just sort of came your way?"
     He said, 'Except for when Governor Stevenson lost an election (and I was out of a job), every other situation just came my way. Little things would happen. I'd meet somebody new that would tilt my life in a slightly different direction.'
     I was like, 'Wow.' I'd figured this very intelligent man had come up with some sort of incredibly well thought out career plan and followed it assiduously. But really he'd done the obvious pretty much. He'd just lived his life and payed attention to the little things.
     See, that was the thing. He didn't neglect the little things. He didn't brush them aside looking for something bigger. He'd just lived his life and Life had guided him to where he should be.
     So next time something small comes to your attention, don't dismiss it and look for something bigger. No, the small things are often the seeds of great things coming your way.

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