More Small Things That Matter

Mark Masri - 3B
Mark Masri performing in Ohio at a private fundraising event.

And a song can change your life.
A word can open doors.
A melody can take us where we’ve never been before.

A song can change your life.

Mark Masri


Compared with world peace, hurricanes, genuine miracles, and the lottery jackpot, a song, a word and a melody are tiny. Yet, Mark Masri’s song says these three relatively small things can change your life. Do you believe it? I do!  Here’s an illustration.

In a recent golf tournament, our team was down one stroke with only two holes to go. We didn’t know it at the time. (They don’t post scores for amateurs like us.) A birdie on #17 moved us into a tie for the lead. On the final hole, our team executed a 30-foot putt, a firmly stroked shot that hit the back of the cup, popped into the air and came straight down into the hole for another birdie and the lead. Hooray for us!

Soon after, the final group was on their final hole, still down one with a similar putt to tie for the lead. Their putt for birdie also struck the back of the cup and popped into the air. Unfortunately it was a fraction of an inch off center and the ball spun out of the cup. This tiny amount demonstrates how a small difference matters big. Swap that fraction of an inch and they win, not us.

Collectively, from the first hole to the 18th, the winning team’s golf balls traveled over 14 miles. Yet, the difference between winning and second place was determined by something so small it’s hard to measure, except for the outcome. Small things DO matter! Did it change our lives? Hardly! But, within the context of winning a tournament it was huge. On the other hand, small difference-makers like this happen all the time at the highest levels of golf where careers are at stake.

“Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.” –Arthur Conan Doyle


So, maybe you’re wondering what examples of small things could really change someone’s life?  Well, today I started a list.  It has 80 examples that could make a positive difference for you and others.  Don’t be surprised if you visit this post again someday and discover a bigger list.

  • A hearty smile
  • A warm hug
  • A loving kiss
  • A friendly wink
  • A firm handshake
  • A gentle reminder
  • A helping hand
  • A simple act of kindness
  • An inspiring quotation
  • A challenging question
  • A though-provoking question
  • Listening well
  • A timely, insightful answer
  • A fresh perspective
  • An inspiring book or movie
  • Monthly training
  • A weekend retreat
  • A knuckle bump
  • An “Aha Moment”
  • A learning event
  • 5 extra minutes of practice
  • An extra mile of conditioning
  • A thoughtful gift
  • A clean, respectful joke
  • Hearing the sound of your name
  • A word of encouragement
  • A gesture of appreciation
  • A standing ovation
  • Getting up an hour earlier
  • A book every month
  • Taking notes
  • An invitation
  • A song (can change your life)
  • A billboard
  • A singing telegram
  • Replacing the plug after an oil change
  • Proper lighting
  • Arriving 10 minutes early
  • Saving & investing $20 every week
  • Clock set at the right time
  • Favorite color
  • Scheduling priorities
  • Writing in your journal daily
  • Working on your vocabulary
  • A positive mental attitude
  • An attitude of gratitude
  • A fresh idea
  • A meaningful picture
  • A treasured memory
  • Words of hope
  • A warm fire
  • A call to action
  • A soft pillow
  • A quiet dinner
  • A favorite snack
  • A cool glass of spring water
  • A friendly wave
  • A high five
  • An unexpected, unsolicited favor
  • A pat on the back
  • A gracious compliment
  • An honorable recognition
  • A wonderful surprise
  • A greeting card
  • A glorious celebration
  • A completed task
  • The birth of a little bitty baby
  • A child’s first words
  • A child’s first steps
  • A story
  • A drawing
  • A painting
  • A favorite chair
  • Other firsts in a child’s life
  • A winter coat
  • Tying your shoes
  • Looking both ways before crossing
  • Praying every morning
  • An attitude of gratitude
  • A haircut
  • Planned repetition
  • A facial expression
  • Remembering a special occasion

The lesson is this: Don’t underestimate the power of small! What is small in deed can be huge in outcome, especially when it’s repeated frequently.  What could you do today to create “a small, but big” experience for someone you know or encounter?  What if that person was YOU?  Either way, how would that improve your life?

Big and Small - 500x373

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