“If everything is important, then nothing is important”

I was recently told this by a colleague when we were discussing particular company policy. This caused me to think. Was he right? Should we be able to pick and choose what is and isn’t important? I quickly remembered a book I read by Andy Andrews titled The Little Things: Why you really SHOULD sweat the small stuff.

In The Little Things, Andy challenges our way of thinking of focusing on the bigger picture instead of the small seemingly insignificant details. When in fact, these small details are the things which could be the most significant in our lives!

Napoleon’s Victory at Waterloo

Did you know that Napoleon originally had won at Waterloo before his epic defeat? The great military strategist had everything planned perfectly. He even told his commanders if everything was done as instructed they would be sleeping in Brussels that night. Had it not been for one small little thing.

Before the battle several infantry privates were frantically searching for a cask of nails. They called all who could help and yelled for their need to be met, only to be ignored.

Over the course of the battle, Napoleon had actually overrun the British troops and defeated Wellington. Back in those days though, the cannons would normally have headless nails hammered down into the cannon, rendering it useless. That is, if you have the nails to do so.

The battle raged back and forth until a group of Wellington’s men got their cannons back, without a nail hammered into it. Soon another group of cannons were retrieved. And, suddenly, the British cannons were turned back on the French, turning Napoleons victory into defeat. All because some troops couldn’t find a pack of nails.

Anytime I get to coach my son on a sport, like shooting a basketball or throwing a baseball, we work on the fundamentals. The seemingly insignificant small details in the mechanics of getting a ball into a hoop or hitting the ball just right.

Go ahead, Sweat the Small Stuff!

If you’ve ever been told, “If everything is important than nothing is important,” then I challenge you to remember this story. Maybe everything isn’t always AS important, but it’s important enough to be given a thought. It’s important enough to sweat the small stuff, practice it correctly, and to create a discipline of excellence.

Sweating the Small Stuff is what separates a victory from a defeat.

Parker Waldrop

Parker Waldrop has taken every opportunity in his career to train & develop others. With over 15 years of training & development experience, he has trained hundreds of employees, leaders, and students in a variety of areas of expertise. With a heart to please God, Parker has found his calling of helping develop others and help them follow their passion.

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