[879호 15면, 발행일 : 2018년 5월 16일(수)]
Some people might expect this title to say, “Dare to Dream BIG” or “Dare to do Difficult BIG Things”. But actually, the wording of the title is intentional because over a lifetime, it’s the “little” things that add up to build a life. There’s a famous quote that reflects this idea quite clearly. Although no original source has ever been isolated, it reads like an “old Chinese proverb” and has been attributed to many people including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Stephen Covey: “We sow a thought and reap an act; We sow an act and reap a habit; We sow a habit and reap a character; We sow a character and reap a destiny.” In short, our thoughts guide our actions, which build habits, create our characters, and define the course of our lives. The littlest things in life add up to the biggest things. Therefore, it’s important to get the littlest things RIGHT. Allow me to give you a few more quotes that will help to flesh out this idea.
THOUGHT: “Attitude is Everything” is commonly used expression. This is truly the beginning of everything because your attitude is like a pair of tinted sunglasses through which you view and experience every aspect of life. Do you go through life with rose-colored glasses on? Or do you wear dark black lenses that block out the light?
ACT& HABIT: Aristotle has said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Success is not an action, but a habit.” Once you’ve determined your attitude, it leads you into action. These actions, performed consistently, over time become habits. Consider the good and bad habits you’ve cultivated in your life. These habits are not the result of chance happenings, but rather have been actively built and cultivated by you. Each habit, good or bad, follows a consistent pattern of 1) trigger, 2) action, and 3) reward (read Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit for an indepth look at these). For example, a trigger in life may be high levels of stress; the action could be drinking alcohol; and the reward may be a feeling of relaxation. After a repeated pattern of this behavior, you have formed a new habit: get stressed, drink, relax.
CHARACTER: On the other hand, the following two quotes illustrate the cultivation of good habits and a strong character. Dwayne, The Rock, Johnson has used the following as his mantra for years: “Always be the hardest worker in the room.” If you follow The Rock on social media, you’ll quickly see how he puts this mantra to work. He is now not only the hardest worker in EVERY room, but also the most bankable, highest-paid star in Hollywood. Another quote from comedian Steve Martin shows how important it is to build a quality character: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” It took Steve Martin nearly 10 years, from the age of 20, to craft his stand-up comedy routine into something that was too good to be ignored, but his effort shows the value of perseverance in the face of obstacles.
DESTINY: Finally, pastor Craig Groeschel cautions us about our destinies. “Everyone ends up somewhere [in life]; few people end up somewhere ON PURPOSE.” Don’t allow yourself to be lazy with the little things in life. Don’t allow bad habits to creep up on you. Rather, be intentional about cultivating good habits and building a strong character, even though it’s difficult. Because at the end of your life, you’ll be able to look up and see just how far you’ve come, and that even the littlest of things had a BIG impact.
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