My 5 year old daughter came to my office last night to keep me company while I was setting up a computer training lab. At the age of 5, everything at the office is a new experience. To keep her out of trouble, I gave her a hammer. (Yeah, I know, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.)
Her task was to pull all of the nails out of the wall. At first, she was trying to pull the nails out with just the tip of the hammer. This was frustrating for her. The nails wouldn’t come out. When I showed her how easy the nails come out when you press down on the end of the hammer – she learned the power of leverage. At that moment, she looked everywhere for more nails to pull out of the wall. There was pure joy in her eyes when she discovered how easy it could be to pull nails out of the wall. She disappeared into a few other rooms for about 10 minutes before she came back saying that she couldn’t find any more nails.
Granted, not all of the nails came out of the wall perfectly. There were a few holes in the wall that required some putty, but he did her best.
I am the furthest thing from a ‘handy man’ the world has ever seen. But that simple lesson taught to a 5 year old made a difference to her in that moment. The next morning I received an email from my wife, telling me that my daughter took a small moment out of her morning to say: “Mommy, I had fun with daddy last night.” That made me feel like the world’s greatest dad.
What if we all could look at the world like a child does? Everything is new and wonderful. Are there experiences you are putting off? If something is not working for you, are you applying the right leverage?
One of the most ridiculous gifts I ever received for Valentines day was a bucket of bubble gum from my wife. What is an adult going to do with 256 pieces of bubble gum? I barely chew a piece of gum in a month. What am I going to do with 256 pieces of hard, overly sweet bubble gum? As my wife so often does, there was a small surprise inside. She took the time to tape a one line message to each piece of gum with a small note of appreciation. I enjoy one piece of gum every morning. It makes my day. I still have enough gum to last me until November. That is the gift that keeps on giving.
Are there things you take for granted? Some times the smallest things, can make a difference in the lives of others.
What does this post have to do with social media?
When I started to use social media tools, I was waiting for this big revelation to come to me that I could share with my followers. Something nobody was thinking. I didn’t want to just “re-tweet’ or re-hash old news. What I learned was that it is the small things that matter, such as the time you take to learn about a new follower on twitter and then send them a personal message on what you enjoy about them. Or what about the time you spend adding a comment on someone’s blog about how it gave you a new way of looking at the world. Pure joy comes from taking small steps. Revolutionary changes comes when those small steps add up to a major shift in your views. With social media, these small steps can also create a major shift in the 5, 10, 1000, 1000000 people that are following you.
Look at the world like a child. Apply the right leverage. Find joy in the moment. Appreciate those around you. Join the revolution.