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The Little Things: Why You Really Should Sweat the Small Stuff Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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About the Author
Hailed by a New York Times reporter as "someone who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America," Andy Andrews is a bestselling novelist, speaker, and consultant for the world's largest corporations and organizations. He has spoken at the request of four different U.S. presidents.
Andy is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Traveler’s Gift, The Noticer, and How Do You Kill 11 Million People?
He lives in Orange Beach, Alabama, with his wife, Polly, and their two sons.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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The book covers a wide range of thoughts, including chapters that will bring peace to your family, and some, when you harness what they teach, can make you a lot of money or turn your team into a winner.
He writes that in order to change your life, all you need is one idea. One idea will change everything. One idea will change the world. He writes that if we are to become extraordinary achievers, we must learn to recognize the little things that actually create the gap—and, consequently, the difference in opportunities—between one and two. The difference really is in little things because the actual gap between first and second place is most often ridiculously small.
He asks what are the “things” that create the life of our dreams, and states that it is really the small stuff. Small, strategic moves in the beginning of any endeavor yield massive growth down the road.
He tells us that most people live their entire lives without ever thinking beyond what they have come to believe is true. But it is a valuable person who manages to see a new way of thinking as an opportunity. He encourages us to not always believe everything we think. To do so will be the end of any exponential growth you might have experienced in your life. To begin to compete at a different level, he encourages us to examine our thinking, especially about how things are done in our industry—and realizing we can’t always believe everything we think.
He returns to the concept of perspective, one he has written about extensively in the past. He tells us that it is critical that we understand the difference between perception (how a situation is perceived) and perspective (what one decides what the facts of that moment mean in terms of direction toward one’s ultimate desired destination).
He tells us that average people compare themselves to other people, while extraordinary achievers do not compare themselves to other people. Instead, they compare themselves to their own potential. He tells us that if we want to be an extraordinary achiever, then we really do want to be different.
I found his discussion of change to be of particular interest. He writes that change is a constant and all-encompassing reality. Change is a part of everything we do, every day of our lives. He debunks three common myths about change and replaces them with two convincing change ingredients, which are:
Change Ingredient #1: What’s in it for me?
Change Ingredient #2: Proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
He tells us that if you understand the myths and the elements of change, you can respond to it with confidence and creativity and even joy. And we can help others respond positively as well.
He writes that a person cannot achieve beyond what they really believe to be the truth about themselves. What a person really believes is so powerful that their belief actually controls their behavior. He tells us that we should spend less time setting goals to satisfy the expectations of other people and use more time to concentrate fully upon legitimately increasing the level of what we really and truly believe is possible. And he tells us that this can only be done by aligning ourselves on a course to pursue the life that God has identified for us as the very best.
The book covers a wide range of thoughts, some of which could be expanded into an entire book on their own. The book concludes with a helpful Reader’s Guide, with questions that will be helpful whether reading the book together or in a book club with others.