LEARNING FROM A SMALL STONE

Gary GruberLearning for LeadersLEARNING FROM A SMALL STONE

LEARNING FROM A SMALL STONE

Ever notice how little things can become a big irritation if you don’t do something about them?   This morning, while taking a walk, I got a small stone in my shoe and I could feel it moving around.  Sometimes it was more irritating than others but I thought I would keep walking and hope it would shift to a spot where I didn’t notice it as much.  That started me thinking about some people I have known and situations I have been in that were irritating and instead of doing anything about it, I just endured the irritation hoping it would go away or become less of a pain.
I know that had I stopped walking, removed my shoe, taken the stone out and put my shoe back on, I could have continued walking without the irritation although there was the possibility of another one to take its place.  How long do we put up with what we know we are eventually going to have to deal with rather than remove the source of the irritation or annoyance?  Why do we not take care of it right away?  There may be some good reasons to wait, especially when people and their lives are involved.  Stones are another matter.
What are the sources of irritations in your world?  Lousy customer service?  People who are habitually late?  Colleagues who have excuses for why something isn’t finished?  Poor or inadequate wifi connections?  Disappointing quality of products or services?  Too much traffic?Rude behavior by people who seem self-absorbed?  Political gamesmanship? Create your own list and then see how you might remove the irritant.  Simply ignoring it might actually work in some situations.  Brush it off, let it go, and walk on.
A stone in the shoe, a speck in the eye, a splinter in your finger, a hangnail, , something caught between two teeth – most can be dealt with successfully by removing them.  Perhaps therein lies the answer.  If you have the ability and the leverage, remove the source of the irritation and the sooner the better.  On occasion, you might even ask for help in the removal process.
How to keep the little things from taking over your life was the sub title of a book written 8 years ago by Richard Carlson.  The title: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff….and it’s all small stuff.  Often it is the little things, like a stone in the shoe, that keep chipping away and diverting our attention from more important things.   Perhaps the best response is the swift removal of the irritation and eliminate the pain for everyone.

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