“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”~ Henry Ford

Puzzled By the Details?

Ever felt overwhelmed by the details? Like there are just too many little things to be done on the way to something big? If you haven't tried one recently, think back to the last time you tackled a 1000- or 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

Pursuing your goals is like opening up that box and dumping out all the pieces. You concentrate on that picture of the completed puzzle on the front of the box. You start sorting out the pieces according to what part of the puzzle they'll complete. You spend endless hours diligently working, but you know you'll never finish it unless you are enjoying the process of piecing it all together.

Small successes inspire you to continue. Maybe you have a "team" of others who help you put it together, or maybe you enjoy working alone. If you have a lot of responsibility at work, and are expected to run the show and perform without constant supervision, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But remember as you work that you carefully place one piece at a time, and you know that you are in charge and that you will enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Taking care of the little things can be extremely satisfying, especially when you know that's what it takes to keep the operation going and progressing toward your goals. A study published in Human Kinetics (Orlick, 1998) actually showed that "life satisfaction" is 22 percent more likely for those with a steady stream of minor achievements than those who express interest only in major accomplishments!

So keep at it - one piece at a time - with an eye toward the big picture. Enjoy the pleasure from all of your accomplishments, remembering the unattributed phrase, "True worth is doing each day some little good, not dreaming of great things to do by and by."