Last night I was reading about George H. W. Bush. Here was a man who was the son of a Senator, who became President and whose son became President. Today, some perceive that he is part of a “major family” in the United States. And yet, what does that even mean?
George Bush was talented. He did a great job when it counted. He was ambitious. And he got lucky.
But how does that equate to being part of a ‘major family’?
How easy is it to forget that he has just done what was in front of him to do?
Greatness is built by little decisions. In his case, the decision to serve in WWII rather than going straight to college. The decision to enter the oil business. The decision to move his company from Midland, Texas to Houston. The decision to travel 400,000km attending 850 events in 1979 in support of his campaign to become President. The decision to serve under the man who had just beaten him, Ronald Reagan, as Vice-President.
His father did help. He had certain advantages. He got lucky. But one of the great lessons that stands waiting for us to learn here is that there is nothing bigger than the little things.
There are no ‘major families’ except those that our perceptions project. Those ‘major families’ become major through the efforts of one person being built upon by succeeding generations, but which, at any time, can be undone by the work of the latest generation. Or rebuilt by the one following them.
Every generation is a chance to reclaim our birthright – or to create one for our children.
In Vanilla Sky, when David (Tom Cruise) got into Julie’s (Cameron Diaz) car, he lost the love of his life, Sofia (Penelope Cruz)… especially when Julie to kill him. It was a little decision – a tiny little decision – but, as David realizes in the final moments: Little things… there’s nothing bigger, is there?
There have been so many “little” things in my life. The second time I came to China, I almost didn’t come – I was in London and booked on the Wednesday flight to return directly to Australia until about 6:30pm Tuesday night!
… And I only came across China NLP because I happened to meet the right person at a Toastmasters meeting, and happened to have mentioned that I was interested in NLP – and it was that introduction that led me to return here six months later, and ultimately to live in Shanghai.
It’s the little things that give us the most juice and energy too. Whether it’s in love, in travels, or in our work, so we can find that it is the little things that cause us stress or give us joy.
But I know that you have your own examples. So the question that I ponder now is just this:
How can we make the most of those little things, now?