We are told to “dream big”, “Just do it”, make courageous steps, take risks and make a difference. We are all out to CHANGE THE WORLD! These things get us jazzed, inspired and depressed all at the same time. It would be easy for us to think that “one day” we will be able to attain this. “Once my kids are grown up”, “When I get out of school”, “When my life is put together”. Our culture screams at us to go big or go home. We live in a world obsessed with “greatness”.
In frustration of never feeling we can attain the extraordinary, many of us have gone home. We have forgotten the power of the ordinary. Why? Because we’ve believed a lie: that ordinary = meaningless. We’ve believed that our regular, daily items are not good enough to make a difference. We then live in an “if only” mindset, wishing we could do something of real significance.
I’m here to tell you that it’s time to rebel against this mindset. Here’s what I’ve been hearing from women everywhere:
- I don’t do much, I just babysit my friends kids so they can go to work.
- I can’t think of anything I do to make a difference… all I do is make meals for friends who are sick or have just had children
- I invite my neighbours over for coffee, but that’s nothing special.
- I sit with people at lunch who are alone, but I don’t see anything great about that. I’m not building orphanages in Africa.
- I wish I could do something but between work, my kids school and activities, where’s the time?!
- I’m not a really outgoing person. I like to go out for coffee to have meaningful conversation with someone one on one. I don’t like crowds so you would never catch me speaking in front of large groups.
- I work behind the scenes. I like to clean for people who have no ability to clean up their homes. It’s nothing, really.
I remember staying with a woman who opened her home to anyone who needed a place to stay. She repeated over again how she didn’t feel it was “enough”. Are you kidding me?!
We dismiss our ordinary acts and measure them against people who we feel are truly changing the world. These people are usually those who have sold millions of books, have a TV show, and travel the world. But do these people know the individuals you do? Nope. They don’t. If you asked the individuals you serve if they feel your contribution isn’t significant or needed, what would they say? Isn’t ONE person valuable enough? Why do we downplay the power of investing in the small?
Has someone invested in your life or helped you in some way? Was it “big”? Did it matter? Where would you be if they hadn’t?
Don’t go home. You don’t have to go big. Just go somewhere and know that along the way your seemingly “ordinary” is making a difference.