The Biggest Thing is Do the Little Things Superbly. Become a Thriving Ten Percenter.
Mike Lipkin brings out the best in leaders and employees around the world. The founder and president of Environics/Lipkin, and the author of numerous bestselling motivational books, he combines Environics’ trademark “social values research” with his personal expertise to provide people with the confidence and insight to take powerful action and achieve pre-eminence in their lives. Mike discusses the difference between “surviving” and “thriving” below:
Today, you will have so many opportunities to be upset, stressed or annoyed. Today, you will be confronted by ignorance, indifference or insolence. Today, you will experience multiple reversals, mistakes or frustrations. Between now and bedtime, you will take a journey of a thousand cuts that could bleed you out and suck you dry.
Yet, today you will be granted your daily miracles. You will smile, laugh or play with a friend. You will work, build, or create something amazing with a colleague. You will read, learn or hear about a breakthrough from an unexpected source. You will eat or drink something delicious. You will be warmed, enthused or inspired by someone remarkable.
All of this will happen a hundred times today. And tomorrow. And the day after. Just like yesterday and the days before that. These are the little things that build our lives or break them down. Where you are today is a direct result of how you handle the little things.
Here’s a big question: what are the big things? Birth, death, marriage, divorce, buying a house, starting a business, closing a big deal, getting promoted, getting sick, getting well, saving a life, winning the lottery? Maybe all these things are big. But they’re no bigger than the conversation I’m having with you right now. They’re no bigger than the lunch I have planned with a great friend. They’re no bigger than the presentation I’m giving this afternoon or the family dinner I have planned for this evening.
The so-called big things may happen once a lifetime, once a decade or once a year. They may even happen once a month. But the so-called little things happen every day, maybe even every hour. Hey, maybe they even happen every minute or every second. Like your breath for example. How well do you breathe. I’m serious. Deep slow breaths invigorate and oxygenate your body. Fast, shallow breaths make you anxious and tense. Just try it.
The three biggest trends I’m tracking in my daily research are fatigue, anxiety and overwhelm. So much is happening so fast with so many people that it’s easy to spin out of control. At the same time, I see people taking on their fears, uncertainty and doubts. Ninety percent of the people I track are surviving. They get up. They show up. They get things done. That’s what people do – they carry on in the face of difficulty and heartache.
But there is a massive difference between surviving and thriving. Surviving is about getting through the day. Thriving is about reveling in the day. To revel means to take intense pleasure in something and profit greatly from it. So what would it take for you to revel in today? What are the little details that are vital? What are all the little things that make big things happen? I have found that the little things are infinitely the most important. In fact, if you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never get the big things right.
The Thriving Ten Percenters are the people who revel in the day. They seize the seconds to achieve firsts. They’re acutely aware of magic and they share it with everyone around them. They’re not pollyannas but they are promoters. They don’t hang back when they need to step forward. They’re not all extroverts but they don’t let their natural reserve get in the way of opportunity.
So here are the ten ways to be a Thriving Ten Percenter:
- Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Don’t wish you had what you don’t. You have what you need. Now do what you want. So I’m using my insights, my knowledge, and Youtube to bring you this message. It could be more perfect but I didn’t have the time.
- Make every conversation an enjoyable experience. On average, I will have 20 conversations a day – both in person and on the phone. That’s 100 conversations a week or 5000 conversations a year. That’s 5000 opportunities to bring someone joy. I’m going to seize all of them because the happier I make others, the more they want to reward me.
- Be mindful. Look for clues around you. Recognize the patterns. Put it all together. Focus on the prize and it will pull you towards it. I’m always scanning my environment to see what’s hidden to others. Then I show it to them. Over and over again. And that is how I succeed.
- Play your role heart and soul. Yes, we’re all actors on the stage of life. We all play a role in others’ lives. At home, work and play, others depend on us to be fabulous, remarkable, outstanding. In fact, the way we play every day is determines the happiness or sadness of others. Yes, it’s that simple and it’s that profound. Makes you think doesn’t it?
- Do something special and different. Infuse your work with your personal flair. Add your individual touch. Make it your own. Maybe it’s a handwritten note. Maybe it’s the extra call you didn’t have to make. Maybe it’s the smile. Maybe it’s the insight or connection that is unexpected but welcome. On my voicemail, I always leave a mantra that inspires callers. In my talks, I always personalize my message. This video is just one more way I’m differentiating myself through a little big thing.
- See yourself as an influencer and shaper of others. We become the identity we have of ourselves. We move in the direction of our thoughts. I’ve discovered that everyone has a greater impact on others than they can possibly know. So right now, declare aloud, “I am a powerful influence on others. I enrich their lives through my words and actions. That is who I am!” If I didn’t believe I am a motivator and coach, I could not create this message and then we both wouldn’t be loving this moment.
- Train to win. Prepare yourself for preeminence. Doing the little things superbly will take all you’ve got and then some. We’re all athletes in the game of life. So engage in a regimen that makes you physically strong. Study the courses that expand your mind to understand more. Join the groups that motivate you to take on more. Find a cause that inspires you to reach for the sky. I’m in a gym every day for 90 minutes. I read a book a week and listen to at least one more. I’m part of multiple teams that hold me to the highest account. I am who I am because of the amazing people who make me so.
- Forgive. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. And forgive quickly. The longer you hold on to a grievance, the weaker you become. Anger is corrosive. It wears you out from the inside. When you concentrate on what’s wrong, things go wrong. Most the time, the hurt is illusory. When people tell me why they’re angry, I realize they’ve made something mean something it doesn’t mean. Most the time, the other person didn’t even know what they did. So travel light and you’ll travel further.
- Look for the small victories and build on them. If it works for one person, it can work for another. Refine and repurpose your offering. This video is a composite of everything I’ve learnt in the past year. I’m bringing together insights that I’ve learned from hundreds of people in hundreds of situations. I hope I’m helping you. I know I’m helping myself. And this video will be the springboard to the next opportunity. Every act is a cause set in motion.
- Give away the small favours. If it takes less than 5 minutes, do whatever you can without even thinking. If it takes more than 5 minutes, think about it first, then do as much as you can. A small favour can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. Generosity pays big dividends. There is no statute of limitations on reciprocation. That’s why I’m making this video. It’s my way of giving. But it’s also my way of self-promoting. It’s a win-win and it’s a beautiful thing even if I say so myself.