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It’s so small…. that’s what she said.
“No matter how big you think your problems are, someone else’s problems could always be bigger, which makes yours relatively small!”
― Brenda Jackson, Perfect Timing
Everything is small if you think about it. I just returned from a trip to Mexico, an all-inclusive resort, all the food and drink I could put in my stomach for 4 days. Although bloated like a whale, I must say I had an amazing time. On the plane ride home, my partner and I were talking and she stated, “You know, we can make anything small”. Perplexed, I said, “Go on…”. She said, “well, here we are at this amazing resort for 4 days and we really only checked out about 10000 square feet, our room, OUR spot at the pool, 2 restaurants, and a couple of hallways to get to and from our room. “ I stated thinking and when we travel to Chicago we do the very same thing. No matter where we stay, we can condense the Second City to a matter of a few blocks. We love to walk and thus grabbing a cab is not in our wheelhouse, so we spend our time usually within a 10 or 12 block area.
For most of us, our daily lives are so big, so important, so stressful, but if we take a step back, there is very little that cannot be condensed to a manageable event. Think about the biggest struggle you are facing right now, job, marriage, and financial issues. No matter the problem, if you look at it big picture, it looms large and most times unmanageable. But if you talk the “it’s so small, that’s what she said view”, you simply figure out the first small step that will make that problem a little less of a problem and take that action.
Let’s say your marriage stinks. (Editors note, I’m divorced, so I can only give relationship advice, not marriage advice, I failed miserably, but was married for 17 years, so I can talk about this topic.) Let’s assume your biggest issue is the person you told forever meant until death do you part. That person is really dragging you down, making you feel less than you are, not allowing you to be you. If you look at the whole of that issue, it is unmanageable, the problems after all these years are too big to surmount, so you get divorced or worse live in a miserable environment until you die. If you look at your marriage as that you are also in a relationship, you look at the issues, and take a small step that force things to change. You might surprise your partner with flowers, a positive attitude, or an unexpected night out. Start a conversation that you are not happy and that you want a positive relationship in the next 6 months. If you are not happy, there is a great chance they are not happy either and your sudden interest might be a shock. Shocked or not, this can usually start you on your way to a better existence and in a few months, your life will improve.
Take the same steps with your job or your financial issues. Figure out one small step that you can take today that can start the tide turning on pain that you are experiencing. If it’s your job, figure out why you are not happy and take one small step to fix it. Financially, chances are you are living outside of your means and pulling back the reigns just a little and doing a little expense management can make your financial picture look amazingly better.
Another great example of the “it’s so small, that’s what she said” is the issue of weight. As you look around this is not just a problem, it is an epidemic. Most people get on the scale when they “start a program” and weigh daily proclaiming after day three that “I’ve lost 7 pounds!”. Do you check your stock portfolio on a daily basis? If you do, you shouldn’t. If a person needs to lose weight, many times we take the fast approach of quick weight loss that NEVER works. If you want to lose 50 pounds, go see a dietician, and lose 8 pounds a month for 6 months. That’s roughly 2 pounds a week and will get you very close to your goal. A person can lose 2 pounds a week easily with small changes, but the concept of focusing on the 50-pound goal seems insurmountable to most.
No matter the situation, the issue, the goal, begins using the “it’s so small, that’s what she said” approach. Break everything down into small steps, take action today, don’t deviate, and improve your life. Never forget what Miss Jackson stated above: “No matter how big you think your problems are, someone else’s problems could always be bigger, which makes yours relatively small!” (That’s what she said…)
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