It’s funny, isn’t it, how so many of us think we must be here on earth to accomplish something ‘big’ in our lives. We put ourselves under so much pressure to ‘do’ or ‘be’ something, and are made to feel like we must justify our place in the world.
At the start of the new year there is always the idea that we must suddenly want to become new and improved. But what if you are doing ok already? I hazard a guess that you really are, after all, you’ve survived everything that life has thrown at you so far.
It’s not wrong to want to be a better version of yourself, if we don’t evolve as humans then what’s the point? If the New Years sees you making resolutions and that works for you that's great. That doesn’t mean everyone has to change the world by doing something big. We can’t all be a world leader, an influential artist, a world-class musician or million-selling author, and as proved by current world affairs maybe some people absolutely should NOT be.
As Clarence proves to George Bailey in "It’s a Wonderful Life", you don’t have to do big things to change the lives of others. Right at the very beginning of the story, George saves his brother Harry’s life by rescuing him from the frozen pond. Whilst that in itself is a heroic deed, Harry himself then goes on to be a war hero saving hundreds of men. But if George hadn’t saved Harry, Harry wouldn’t have gone on to be that hero.
That’s a story of course, but it makes a valid point.
Every small thing you do touches someone else.
Teach your child to be kind, and they will spread that kindness far beyond what you alone can do. Take a colleague for coffee instead of just chatting to them at the kettle in the kitchen, make time for them. Pay someone a compliment if you think they look nice - even if it’s a stranger.
I bet you do at least one or maybe all of these things over the course of a week. That person will remember how you made them feel, so you shouldn’t forget what you’ve done to do that. And at the end of the day when you go to bed, don’t think about what you haven’t accomplished. Think what small things you did that made a difference to someone else.
Grand gestures might make the headlines but they’re not what keeps the world turning day to day
We really need to give ourselves a break and stop waiting for that big thing to happen. After all, how do you know it hasn’t already?