Doing the Little Things Right

Brett McDonough
October 27, 2018

Have you ever wondered why some people get the breaks every time?  Is it luck?  Is it because they came from a specific family?  Or is it something they have cultivated themselves?  Guess what…it’s probably a little of each but a lot of what successful people find is created by THEM not luck or their family lineage. It’s the little things done right consistently that make the big things happen.


Like I have read multiple times before and try to really pay attention to, “Success leaves clues.” What that simply means is that when you see success, if you pay enough attention you will figure out why that person or persons got to that point. There are certain traits or habits that created that success. It’s not random chance.


What I want to talk about today is the “little things” that are really BIG things. Things that have become a lost art as time has gone on. Things that are so simple that people now overlook them. Things that never die. Things that are critical not only for success but also to self-worth and happiness is the deliverer’s life. Things your mom and dad probably (hopefully) taught you at some point.  So pay attention if they didn’t!


1.     Manners and Being Polite– The simple action of saying please and thank you, or holding the door for someone. Making eye contact with someone who talks to you is another way to show respect to someone. Having a firm hand-shake is also good manners. It shows respect and trust. They are so simple people don’t even think about them. Manners are not biased either. It should not matter at all who you are talking to or dealing with. Even if you don’t like them manners matter. When you meet someone who does not have good manners or isn’t polite how do you feel?  Do you want to be around them again?  Do you want them to be part of your team at work?  NO! Don’t be that person.

2.     Communication – Due to the world of technology this have become one of the fastest areas to be corroded. People no longer know how to communicated properly. Here is your simple lesson – eye contact (from above), strong posture (not slouched), actually listen and respond to what they say (not to what you want to say). Be sincerely INTERESTED in the other person. That wins more trust and likeability than anything you will ever say. Practicing manners from above during communication wins every time too. Your body language is huge. Confidence is felt more than what is heard. You can put me in front of 10 people and I will pick out the most confident person without them saying a word. Work on this body language.

3.     Character – This one is huge. This is the one that shows it’s face in the little things you do. Things like picking up a piece of trash that fell out of your car, taking your shopping cart back to the coral in the lot at Hy-Vee, holding the door for a complete stranger, letting someone in who is trying to turn, getting out and helping someone who is trying to change a tire on a cold winter night, helping a stranger when you could easily walk away. These are just some of the things that people do that shows their true character good or bad. Things that they do when no one is looking or no one is expecting anything. These are the things were you don’t get anything in return other than satisfying your soul for doing the RIGHT THING.  The real payment from character comes from being a lesson for everybody else around you. Your kids, your co-workers, your friends and those complete strangers are watching whether you realize it or not. I don’t know about you but I don’t want my kids to grow up being consumers and not givers and it all starts with character.  It’s the little things.


My entire point with this is pretty simple: do the right thing and you will never have to worry about succeeding in life. When you do the little things the big things will happen. Guaranteed. It may not be that day or that week or even that year but they will happen. Be the person who others want to be like. Be the person they respect. Be the person your kids look up to and their friends look up to. Our communities need more of this. The lost art of being a good person needs a revival and it starts at the individual level. Have some damn manners, be overly polite, communicate like you care and practice character traits that make you proud of who you are and I guarantee you that you will go to bed at night with a smile on your face.

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Chiropractic care and massage therapy located in Clive, Iowa and serving the surrounding communities including West Des Moines, Waukee, Des Moines, Urbandale, Johnston and Grimes.
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