This past week, I have been reflecting on Mother Teresa’s famous quote, “be faithful in small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.” This quote resonates deeply with me, yet it also gives me some pause. When I was in high school, on separate occasions, various well-meaning friends and my beloved guidance counselor gave me a copies of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and it’s all small stuff) to help remind me to step back from the daily stresses on which I tended to focus and to remember the bigger picture—the important things in life. While I appreciated their sentiment and agreed that I needed to step back periodically, I still felt a deep sense of obligation to be diligent and faithful in the “small stuff.” In order to stay “faithful in the small things” and “focused on the big things,” I have had to reflect on what each means and how they intersect.
To me, staying “faithful in the small things” means doing the best we can with the responsibilities and opportunities that are on our plate at any given time. The “small things” may include the mundane and unsexy day-to-day necessities that can be trying and not particularly “rewarding” (i.e., the things we need to do to simply “survive”). In this context, faithful is defined as: “firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty: conscientious.” I think the key to being faithful in small things yet still focusing on the big things is constantly remembering that what we do, on any given day, does not define who we are. When we recognize that our sense of self-worth and value does not come from “what” we do, but rather “how” we do it, we can appreciate that the small steps contribute to a greater or higher purpose for each of us.
At Women in the Mix, we are constantly expounding the “how” in the work-life mix conversation. So how can we be faithful in small things? Through tenacity and courage—by embracing the mundane and unsexy and executing to the best of our ability. Remembering all the while that we are not what we do, but how we do things is a reflection of who we are. How do you approach the small things in your work-life mix?
Featured Wixii™ Anjee Davis‘ career path reflects her faithfulness and tenacity. She made the most of each opportunity despite not having a clear path in mind when she started her journey. Today, Anjee has a position that she loves and a mix of work-life that energizes her and her family. She has found her Survival+. Anjee’s says, “I am doing the best I can, and I have to make sure I stop and enjoy life’s moments.” Let us remember Anjee’s story as we each continue to experiment with our own work-life mix—doing our best yet not sweating the small stuff so that we can be open to and focused on the big stuff that comes along.