In my family, we place a high value on Big Ideas, but most of the time it's the small ideas that go the farthest. Mama made a cheese slicer out of a piece of thread, and Dad cut gaskets out of a sheet of cork. We made clothes out of bigger clothes.
Sometimes I forget to look for improvements and continue to do something the same old way, even though it's tedious or obnoxious. I need to remember to look for those small ideas that improve your life in little ways and add up to a small pile of happiness.
For example, I need three keys to get into my office. One opens the door to the building, one opens the door to our area, and one opens my office door. For at least a year I kept the keys on my keyring in an order other than the one in which I used them. Every morning and every evening I would grumble and try one, two, sometimes three keys for every lock I encountered.
I did this for at least a year, fumbling through three nearly identical keys for every lock.
Then one day I had that small idea. I switched the order of the keys to reflect the order in which I would use them. My frustration level plummeted. Such a little thing to make such a big difference.
I also used to have cell phone anxiety. I'd worry all the time: will my battery run out today, will I forget to bring my charger to work, will I leave my charger at work when I need to use my phone at home? I worried more when I decided to give up my land line and use only my cell phone.
Finally one day while I was buying batteries at the Mart of Wal, I saw a phone charger exactly like mine for $15. My gosh, I've been torturing myself foolishly when all I had to do was have one charger at work and one at home! I thought. I bought it and took it to my office. I've probably saved an hour a week not having to obsess about the level of the juice in my phone.
So next time I find myself stressing over some minor irritation, I'm going to look for the small idea that will fix it.
I'll keep you posted.