It’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference. Think about the hinges on doors. Even the largest of doors swing on small hinges, and if those hinges weren’t there, that door wouldn’t swing at all.
Entrepreneur and author W. Clement Stone, said it first: “Big doors swing on little hinges.” I’ve heard this phrase many times but didn’t truly understand it until recently. The more I thought about it, the more apparent it became how many big things in my life are reliant on little things.
For instance, a change of a few words in a sentence can give it much more impact or a different meaning for a reader. Knowing how to use a hair product can mean the difference between curly or frizzy hair. Getting up one hour earlier can increase your productivity at work. One system or application can make an entire program I sell work smoothly.
Identify Your Doors and Discover Your Hinges
Identify the doors you would like to have swing open wide and with ease. Do you want to improve your career, relationship, financial situation, or health?
Then determine what type of hinges you need in any area of life you want to improve any area of your life.
Think about your job or career. What one thing could you do that would make a huge difference? For instance, surveying your customers to discover their most significant challenge would help you create the products they need and market them effectively.
If you are a parent, what one thing could you do to help your children succeed? For example, asking them questions about what they think they should do or how they should behave—rather than telling them what you think—might empower them.
If you are in a relationship, what one thing would really move the needle toward more understanding, love, or intimacy? Maybe it’s making a bid for a date night, hugging your partner more often, or being more present when he or she speaks.
Install the Hinges
Once you have your doors and hinges identified, it’s time for installation. You don’t need a hammer or screws, but you do need to do something different—just one small thing. Then watch for the results of that one action.
You can think of this like the [80–20 Rule](80–20 Rule https://www.investopedia.com/terms/1/80–20-rule.asp#ixzz5W2QUPyh6), a business rule of thumb that 80% of results can be attributed to 20% of all actions or causes. This way of looking at a business refers to the fact that 80% of a company’s revenue is typically generated by 20% of its customers or its products.
Like a business manager, you can review any area of your life to identify the factors most important to the results you desire—your 20%. Then, place your attention and effort on those factors, and watch your results multiply!
Squeaky Hinges Need to be Oiled
Keep in mind that you might have some squeaky hinges around. Notice which doors are a bit noisy or harder to swing open than others. Maybe it’s time for some oil.
We often forget about the things that are working…until they stop working. After, it’s easy to stop noticing the small things that work and to focus attention on the large ones that don’t.
Remember: “Big doors swing on little hinges.” Pay attention to the hinges. Grease them well and often.
I find it amazing how little things make such a big difference. What about you? Tell me in a comment below what little things make the most difference in your life.
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