I recently went through the excruciating pain of kidney stones. How bad are kidney stones? So bad. You’ve probably heard stories about how severe the pain is. Many women attest that nothing hurts more than giving birth to a child (or should I say the labor pains that come with the experience of giving birth to a child), but doctors and other professionals I’ve spoken to over the years have said that the pain of kidney stones is eerily close to the pain a woman feels in labor.
I don’t pretend to know about labor, but I woke up one Monday morning to a small pain in my back, and a moment later I broke out in a soaking sweat. Some nausea set in and the pain worsened. Within a half hour, I was buckled over in pain. There was nothing I could do to ease the pain. I tried standing a certain way, lying down, kneeling, and even curling in the fetal position. Nothing worked.
We rushed to the ER and spent seven hours there. The pain eventually subsided but the stone had not passed. After an X-ray, ultrasound and CAT scan, it was determined I had an 8-millimeter stone in my kidney.
Now an 8-millimeter stone is a substantial-sized kidney stone, but objectively, when you measure 8 millimeters, it’s not something large.
That made me think about how something so small can cause such great pain. It’s like the proverbial “thorn in the side” or a pebble in the shoe. These little annoying things can cause so much irritation or pain.
Then I thought about how one simple small mistake I might make in my real estate business can cause so much pain or aggravation to our clients. It can be something as small as missing a set of initials on a contract or failing to convey a message or not following the exact proper procedures in a transaction. Our clients trust us and although we are not perfect, one small mistake can cause a great deal of pain and irritation.
But just as those tiny kidney stones or little mistakes can cause so much pain, try flipping the script. How do the smallest of things create the greatest amount of joy and happiness for ourselves and others? It can be quite susbtantial.
Consider meditation, for instance; if you spend just five minutes a day in silence consistently for one year, I promise you that your life will be much better than if you didn’t. Those five minutes of quiet time day to day can produce a life of awareness and fulfillment.
In the book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson describes how if you work on improving yourself by 0.3 percent per day for 365 days, you will be a hundredfold better at your endeavor on day 365 than you were on day one. When you do the math, that actually adds up to about a little over four minutes per day working on a skill or trait to produce the results you want. That’s amazing!
What if for one year you wrote one note per day to a client or to someone you love? What would that do for your life and your business? How about making one call per day to tell someone how grateful you are to have him or her in your life? Maybe send flowers or those edible arrangements to one client a month. Maybe, it’s a small word of encouragement.
My goal is to put a smile on someone’s face every day by doing something small. I tell people all the time, it’s the little things done consistently over time that will produce extraordinary results.
So like a kidney stone, the smallest effort can make a huge difference.