Perspective: Sometimes You DO Need to Sweat the Small Stuff!

Written by on October 5, 2017 in Self-Awareness, Sense of Purpose


Your perspective is yours alone. You own it. No one can change it or diminish it without your permission. YOU can CHOOSE how to see things. While others see certain circumstances as the end of the road, you can decide it is only the beginning. ~Andy Andrews


You have the power to choose how you see and respond to life. More importantly, your beliefs about your potential and ability to deal with life’s challenges are reflected in those choices and determine the quality and course of your life journey.

Two people can face the same problem and while one chooses to view it as an impossible obstacle the other sees as an opportunity for growth.

It’s all about perspective.

A Perspective on Why You DO Need to Sweat the Small Stuff

The Little ThingsToday’s post is a challenge to consider your perspectives … on life, in challenging times, and especially on your beliefs about what you are capable of achieving.

And I can’t think of a better way to do that than with bestselling author Andy Andrews’ book The Little Things: Why You Really SHOULD Sweat The Small Stuff. (Affiliate link)

Technically you could call this a self-help book, but it is far from the typical “how to” we’ve come to expect. At just 160 pages it’s a short book and filled with interesting stories and commentary by the author, all of which make it a deceptively easy read.

Even so, the message is clear … everything we do or don’t do and every choice we make is charting our course in life and for better or worse those choices are driven by our perspective on what really matters.

One Idea

The first chapter beautifully frames the focus of the book by discussing the difference between 1st and 2nd place winners and how it’s the little things (an extra lap, one more push-up, an extra bit of training) that makes the difference when it comes to crossing the finish line.

But what stood out for me was a statement he makes about how empowering it is to realize that to change your entire life for the better all you need is one idea.

I know that sounds outrageous, but when someone hits what appears to be an immovable object most people will seek to attribute their inability to move forward to lack of resources, money or support.

The reality, according to Andrews, is that what you are really lacking is an idea.

Think about it …

On Giving Up

The author tells a story about how when he was a kid he joined the school football team and quickly decided it wasn’t for him, but no matter how much he pleaded, his father refused to let him quit and made him finish the season.

In a discussion sometime later his dad explained how emotionally painful it was not to let his son quit, but he didn’t want Andy to let quitting become a part of who he was.

But ‘What if I hit an impossible place’ I asked. ‘What if there is really no way to succeed at what I’m attempting?’

My dad smiled. ‘Who gets to decide what’s impossible? If you run up against a situation that declares there is no way, then all you have to do is hang in there until you find a way.

Get it? You have to find a way … where there is no way.

You CAN Choose

If you could choose, what kind of life would you live? Where, how, and with whom?

According to the author, the first four words in the beginning of this section have messed us up our entire lives because they have ingrained in our minds that life is a roll of the dice and we have little say in the matter.

I’ll be honest in that I had to reread this section a couple of times and I’m still not sure I’m on the same page as the author about that, but what does ring true for me is the point he goes on to make about why so many of us fail (again and again) to achieve our goals.

Through the years as we grow into adults we combine what we’ve learned and experienced to form perceptions of who we are and what we’re capable of and in time we settle into this persona.

You may continue to harbor dreams and pursue goals, but few if any of them will challenge you to go much beyond the invisible (aka realistic) limitations you’ve set for yourself.

You can tell the world, create vision boards and plaster your home and office with motivational sayings. You can do all that and more but if you don’t believe, deep in your gut, that you are capable of accomplishing your dream or goal, you can be pretty much assured you won’t.

Now before you declare this to be complete and utter rubbish, ask yourself a couple of questions. First, how many of your goals have you actually achieved? And second, do you set goals that really stretch you, maybe even scare you a little?

If so, and you’ve aced them all, congratulations! If not, at least consider there may be some truth to this idea.

At this very moment, you possess the power of perspective. You can choose to see your life becoming whatever you wish. If you so choose, you can move the mountains in your life’s path. ~Andy Andrews

In the end, Andrews lobs one more challenge that really made me take a step back.

Forget about the fact that we have not experienced THE BEST life has to offer. Most of us have never even allowed ourselves to consider what THE BEST might actually be!

The Bottom Line

I really loved this little book and read it through (the first time) in one evening. Of course, there is so much more than what I’ve shared here and it can all be applied to any area of your life.

So who is the book for?

I’ll start with who this book is not for and that is anyone who opts for bullet point quick fix solutions over introspection and is happy being comfortably settled into a life that is familiar and relatively risk-free.

If these things work for you, great! Save your money and just keep on doing what you’ve been doing.

But if you have a burning desire to be the driver in your own journey and are brave enough to pursue an extraordinary life – I highly recommend taking a closer look at Andy Andrews The Little Things: Why You Really SHOULD Sweat The Small Stuff.

Then spend a little time thinking about your perception of who you are and what you are capable of.

What would THE BEST actually look like for YOU?

At this very moment, you possess the power of perspective. You can choose to see your life becoming whatever you wish. If you so choose, you can move the mountains in your life’s path. ~Andy Andrews
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living click here.

Thank you for sharing!

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23 Reader Comments

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  1. William Rusho

    Facing something immovable, and then giving up, and thinking we have no choice is our downfall. Reminds me of the story of how they capture elephants. They tie them with huge chains, they will fight and fight to be free, but eventually give up. After this, they need to only tie the elephant with a small cord, he will never try to break free again.
    We always forget we have choices, and even if they are not present one day, they may be another.
    William Rusho recently posted…The Werewolf: Legend, Myth and MoviesMy Profile

    • I’ve heard that about elephants William and it really makes me sad just thinking about it, but it is a perfect analogy for this topic. Thanks so much for taking the time to contribute to the conversation. 🙂

  2. Rosary says:

    I’ve always believed that our perspectives are what gets us through life. We might not be able to control what happens to us most of the time, but we can control how we react or see things, that is, our perspectives. I totally agree with what you’ve said and what Andrew’s said in his book. I think the way we see things really affect our decision making and ultimately, our lives. I’ll make sure to keep a lookout for Andrew’s book next time I’m at the bookstore. Thanks for sharing Marquita!
    Rosary recently posted…Bali: first impressionMy Profile

  3. Joyce Hansen

    I’ve been doing a lot of research on decision making and perception is a big part of it. It’s easy to make a choice based on what we believe matters. It’s a real challenge to dig deeper and discover what our beliefs are based on. Thank you for the recommendation to read The Little Things by Andy Andrew. I’ll be adding it to my reading list.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…Success means having a list of anti-goalsMy Profile

  4. Jeri

    Andrews’ book sounds like one I could benefit from reading. I’ll add it to my every-growing self-help queue. Right now I’m working my way through Laur Buchanan. Her main motte is, “What you are not changing, you are choosing.” It takes a lot of effort to re-write one’s life narrative and work on perspective, that much I know. I can realize all these things about me, but change comes ever so slowly at times.

    • So true Jeri. In fact, I think that’s a beautiful way of affirming Andrew’s point about why we SHOULD pay attention to the little things because most meaningful life changes happen one choice at a time. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thx for the great post, Marty. I think it is indeed our perspectives that make us the unique beings that we are.

    Thx also, for the tip on Andy’s book. It’s looks like he’s got a winning perspective!
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Mathilde Fays of Oka, Quebec: one very talented chocolatierMy Profile

  6. Phoenicia

    This book sounds interesting.

    I agree that the way in which we look at life and at ourselves greatly determines what we go on to do (or not). If we believe we cannot do a thing then we cannot and will not do it as we have already programmed our mind not to. If we believe we can do a thing, we will work far harder to complete it as our determination will push us forward. We set our limitations, deciding how far we believe we can go. I have done this in the past, set a bar usually at a comfortable point in which I know I can meet.

    We must not underestimate our capabilities despite our past challenges. Failing once does not mean one will fail again.
    Phoenicia recently posted…Do it scared!My Profile

  7. This seems to be a great book. I do not know what sweat small stuff really means. But I know from my experience there is always a way to make things work and sometimes it is the little and unexpected thing that helps to move on. Often it needs patience, but if we believe and really want everything is possible.
    Thank you for this great review
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted…Who Needs To Be The Ruler Of Your Marvelous Mind?My Profile

  8. Chery Schmidt

    Hey Marty! “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Oh Boy! This is so me!! I am so looking forward to your series, the power to choose! I am off to check out Andy’s book!

    Great Share!
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…Pinterest Board Sections And 4 Quick Tips To Stand OutMy Profile

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post Chery – though it really is about how you SHOULD sweat the small stuff. 🙂 I have some outstanding stories I’ll be sharing in this series and the one next week is a doozie. Thanks for stopping by my friend! 🙂

  9. Joy Healey

    I really liked the story of the boy who wasn’t allowed to quit, despite his father’s pain at spurring him on. If quitting becomes a habit in the Internet Marketing arena, it’s too easy to just move on to the next “Bright Shiny Object”. I will confess I have done that a time or two with some tactics – but overall I’m keeping going. The result of that has been that I HAVE found a business that’s working for me. Imagine if I had quit….

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted…Cash Back Stores From Global Shopping RewardsMy Profile

    • Good for you Joy! I think most of us have fallen victim to the shiny object syndrome at least a few times in life. I’m so glad that you’ve found a business that makes you happy and is working for you – yea! 🙂

  10. Edward Thorpe

    Hi Marquita,

    Wonderful read. Haven’t read the book but did know Andy’s quitting football story. Unfortunately, can’t recall how?

    Even at my advanced age, the lesson you’ve shared has meaning – perhaps more so, because of my many years of learning how to fulfill my potential – a goal as yet unfulfilled – but not given up on.

    Thanks for an interesting and inspiring read,
    Edward Thorpe recently posted…Synthetic Plastic Microbits Pouring Out Of Municipal Tap WaterMy Profile

    • I don’t know how old you are Edward, but one of my closest friends is 85 and she is still going strong, so in my book age doesn’t have to prevent us from fulfilling our potential. I’m glad that you haven’t given up on that. 🙂

  11. Vatsala Shukla

    Finally validation that its okay for me to sweat the small stuff or as I see it, the finer details and charting out my decision tree when a choice that I am making can lead to a deeper impact on others lives.
    I agree with the author’s father about quitting because there is always a solution and a way to get out of a problem which can be quite creative and out of the box, if we pause to think about it and give ourselves the chance to try new options.
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…5 LinkedIn tips you need to apply if you want job hunting helpMy Profile

    • It is so true, the more comfortable we become with quitting the more likely we are to fall back on it when we find ourselves facing obstacles. I can also relate to the “one idea” because you can have all of the material and emotional support you need but without a solid idea of how to achieve your desired results, you’re still stuck.Thanks for taking the time to contribute to the conversation! 🙂

  12. Suzie Cheel

    I love this post Marty, I understand where you are coming from with those 4 words. I like his perspective and speaks right to my heart with the current l mindset work I am doing to shift my limiting beliefs. I am going to check the book out
    Thank you- This will be a great series xxx
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…DO YOU DISAPPOINT YOURSELF, SELF-SABOTAGE?My Profile

  13. Sue Kearney says:

    Forgot to add: I’m embarking on a whole new way of being of service: creating and marketing healing products for women. The mountain of things to do/learn/achieve is huge.

    This is really helpful. Will look for the book.
    Sue Kearney recently posted…Enough. Basta. Dayenu.My Profile

  14. Sue Kearney says:

    Find the way when there is no way. I think something like this keeps me going. At my age. In my state of physical and financial health. When I sometimes cannot see the way — any way at all.

    Good to put a name to this. Good to breathe into it.


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