Little Things Add Up

Recently, we moved into a new house within the same city. I thought that moving would be easy; we would just move everything belonging to one room to another room in the new house. It turned out that the process was far more complicated than I had imagined. Each day I thought that most of my work is done. Each day I found new things that needed to be relocated or discarded.

I figured out that each little thing adds up in life — whether in a positive or a negative direction. So if we get stuck with one bad habit, say smoking a cigarette each day, it would add up to thousands in a few years. The same goes for wasting an hour each day. On the other hand, if we adopt one good habit, say meditation or exercise daily, it would add up to yield huge gains in a reasonable length of time.

So for example,

  • if we have to run a few kilometers, it is best to focus on the steps ahead. One by one, they add up to make 1 km, then 2 km and towards completing the km goal we set in the start. In the same way small drops of water add up to form a pond or lake.
  • Deposits in and withdrawals from children’s emotional bank account also add up. Each time you are kind to your child, it is one unit deposited. Each time you are rude with them, it is one unit deducted. For a sufficiently long period of time, you will probably have done both and sitting on an average emotional bank account balance. For some people at one extreme, they would have been their children’s heroes, a status way past and above simple parenthood, and at the other extreme, some parents become their children’s villains (or completely disinterested persons) due to a long period of withdrawals, all of which happened one by one.
  • In fact, quality time spent with someone adds up on each occassion. That is the how we remember some people in life more than others and best friendships are formed.

Basically, this is the same concept as described in detail in the book The Slight Edge. I am delighted to experimentally verify this lesson myself.

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