Little Sticks with a Big Lesson

Firstly, I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year!

Every New Year’s, I like to take some time to meditate on the key philosophies that I want to apply to my life in the upcoming year.

This year, I was meditating and a story of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came to my mind.

It’s a very simple story, but the meaning and the wisdom within it is very profound.

One day, the Prophet (SAW) was sitting in the desert with his companions. The Prophet (SAW) then asked them to go out and collect sticks.

The companions assumed it would be to light a fire in the night and went by this task, as the Prophet (SAW) had advised them to do so.

As it was a desert, it was not easy to find these sticks. The companions spent a long time finding small sticks and bringing them and putting them all in a pile.

Once the companions had built a large pile with these small sticks, the Prophet (SAW) explained to his companions why he had given them this task.

The Prophet (SAW) wanted his companions to understand how quickly lots of small things can add up. Lots of small sticks can soon add up to a large pile.

Similarly, lots of small victories can add up to a large victory, lots of small good deeds can add up to a great impact and lots of small good words can add up to enhancing great relationships.

Likewise, lots of small moments of laziness can add up to a year wasted, lots of small missed commitments could lead to a big opportunity lost and lots of small indecisions can lead to a lifetime without achievement.

The more I think about this incident, the more wisdom I see in it. When I look back over 2016, I realize that my success came because I was working hard each day:

Successful Days = Successful Weeks = Successful Months = A Successful Year

When I look back at my most successful projects, I realize I put my all into even the smallest tasks.

When I look back at my biggest changes, I realize that they weren’t overnight transformations, but a small gradual improvement each day, which over months, translated into a big result.

As we enter the New Year, take a lesson from these little sticks. Focus on the small things: the daily habits, the recurring tasks, the small decisions and dealing with small issues, before they become big.

Over the course of the weeks, months and year ahead, you will start to see these small piles of victories get big, then bigger and, ultimately, will lead you to achieving more this year than any other.

Good luck for 2017!

Do you need help applying this to your business? If you do, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Mo Ali, the Business Philosopher.

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