It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
– John Wooden
I once heard the story of a couple that got divorced. The final termination of their marriage found its root in the fact that both of them had different ideas on where the toothpaste tube should be pressed; top or bottom. This set into motion a series of other events that culminated in the breakup. Maybe it’s a fictitious story!
In my workplace, my immediate boss – though normally irritable – took the time to tell some of us under him a story of how his fraternizing with existing workers (when he just got employed) and staying behind a little after closing hours resulted in him being handed a powerful machine (computer). And I mean powerful. His fellow new intakes didn’t get a thing by the way. Maybe he juiced his story up!
I could go on with the “cool stories” but the idea is basic: Little details go a long way in shaping the course of our lives. Very popular these days is the attitude of negligence; the refusal to tidy up loose ends because we consider them too trivial. The sad thing is that in the fiercely competitive age we’re in, these seemingly insignificant details are the things that can give you the edge in the midst of equally qualified candidates.
It’s not only about how an extra accessory to your clothing will get you the job. It could be about how an extra “primness” in appearance or finesse in speech/attitude might get you the girl. It could be about how a few lines of extra courtesy can make your letter/mail fall into fertile grounds. It could be that extra effort it took you to compliment someone’s appearance or quality that expands your network and positions you for future aid. It could be about how an extra hour of studying a little beyond the confines of the curriculum can propel you into an exciting field of specialization. It could be about how an extra minute of patience can save you from a ghastly accident.
I’m sure you’re already considering a host of other instances. That’s the spirit. It’s all about considering the little details others neglect. I hardly remember much of O-level chemistry these days but I can still recall the function of a catalyst in a chemical reaction; to speed up the process. Let’s just say observance of these ‘little details’ is the catalyst you need to enjoy progress in that area you’re thinking about this very minute. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.