Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

20 Small Things you can do Today to Make Your Story Better

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When we think of living better stories we focus on the big stuff.

What job will I take? Where will I live? Will I quit my normal job that I hate and start doing that job that I have always dreamed of but offers me less security? Whom will I marry? Should I move to Africa?

Will I adopt 2 more kids even though I already have 4 of my own? Crazy.

photo by Dene’ Miles (Creative Commons)

The big stuff is important. But we can’t lose sight of the little stuff either.

Our days are filled with the small things. The seemingly minute. The unimportant. The irrelevant.

But the decisions that we make in the small things is just as important as the big things. It is these small little repetitive decisions that add up over time and define who we are.

Today matters. The small choices we make today matter. What we are doing right now matters.

Here are 20 small things you can choose to do today to make your story better.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Drink more water.
  • Help people. There is need everywhere. Find it. Find those who are already helping. Then help.
  • Call an old friend.
  • Turn off your cell phone and pay attention to the people in your life.
  • Give out hugs. Extravagantly.
  • Read a book.
  • Ask for forgiveness. You need it.
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Tell the people that matter to you that you love them.
  • Laugh out loud.
  • Be generous. Give things away. Money. Your time. Your stuff. Yourself.
  • Schedule a trip to some part of the world that you have never been to before but have always dreamed about.
  • Drink fewer soft drinks.
  • Eat something new. Something different.
  • Whatever your greatest fear in life is, do that.
  • Take a nap.
  • Go for a hot air balloon ride.
  • Take the scenic route to work. Roll down the windows. Turn on beautiful music. Dream.
  • Share this list on Facebook or Twitter.

What little things do you choose on a daily basis to make your story better?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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19 Replies

  1. I especially like that last one, Jeremy. 😉

    Katie

  2. Sharing makes you feel better, right?

  3. tammyhelfrich

    Love this list. I try to do many of these things, and love helping people understand that they can make a difference right where they are. These are great examples of how to do that!

  4. I INTENTIONALLY try to listen better. This is huge. I INTENTIONALLY try to encourage and spread hope. I also try to take time to appreciate the little things, like the birds tweeting or a beautiful sky. Just those three things can change your life completely. They have changed mine for sure. 

  5. Such a FANTASTIC list of things to do.  Great post, Jeremy.

    I might add this: SMILE.  The world seems to be running short of smiles.  I see it every day at work:  long faces, frumpy, frowny faces.  We all have a bad day now and again.  I get that.  But really, how much effort does it take to smile?

    Once you get the smiling thing down, add a short, sincere greeting.  Like “good morning” or “how was the concert last night?” or “how was your trip to Where-ever-ville?”

    Engage with people.   You are so right:  “little things matter”!

  6.  Jim:  you, my friend, are on the right track. 

    It’s all about genuine, intention. 

    Little things DO matter.  A lot!

  7. Thanks Michael, I really appreciate it!! So kind of you to say! 

  8. “Give out hugs. Extravagantly.”
    That’s too mainstream. I give out free shrugs.

  9. Great suggestions. So many things can happen when we engage.

  10. encouragement is always good. A great question to ask anyone is what you can do to encourage them. You might be amazed at what they tell you.

  11. Agreed. But I don’t sing or dance 😉 

  12. “Take the scenic route to work. Roll down the windows. Turn on beautiful music. Dream. ”

    Love this.

  13. “Take the scenic route to work. Roll down the windows. Turn on beautiful music. Dream.”  Boom.

  14. It’s amazing how people respond to a genuine smile, and a little engagement.

  15. I focus on loving my wife and two children – to make time for them – to affirm them. 

    I read.

    I try to be aware of those in need.

    Challenge my own perspective.

    Count my blessings.

  16. how do you challenge your own perspective?

  17. I evaluate my situation in comparison to others (not exactly how I want it said, but that’s the easiest for now):

    -My wife delivered our child who went to the NICU for a few days – whereas another family delivered a child and it remained in NICU for months.
    -I was hungry because of no food in my house as a child as my parents made poor choices.  My oldest son starved because he was an orphan.

    It’s almost like this – In my world an event could be a bad situation, but if I just broaden my view, I’ll realize that it’s not as bad as I think. 

    Looking at other situations can remind me to check my selfish world view thus challenging my perspective.

    Traveling to Mexico, Ethiopia, and the UAE also helped challenge my perspective.

  18. Besides, in some areas giving out hugs extravagantly can get you hit with a sexual harrassment charge. :)

  19. I had a friend who got kicked out of high school for offering a hug to a librarian. he was just being nice. their retribution was him being expelled, so he went to a charter school and got done with high school early. that showed him.

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