The meat and the bones
Do not sweat the small stuff, for everything is completed by small stuff.
This has become the title of a very popular book a few years back. It became a mainstay in the bestselling list for a long time. I bought one and I enjoyed it.
Today, I realize that reading a book provides food for the brains. But just like any kind of food, there are both healthy and unhealthy food for the offering. There is a correlation between reading books and eating fish. Cooked fish is food for the body. Here is what I mean: watching a movie, listening to a speaker, attending seminars, and reading a book should be like eating fish. We swallow the meat but throw away the bones.
Not every point, opinion, thought, or even lesson presented by the author should be followed.
Perhaps, absorbing everything was the norm and it worked in the past when knowledge and information was not readily available. Any kind of printed word was perceived as true. Every word expressed by a person holding a microphone is presumed trustworthy. This is how cults are formed. Everything presented by a talking head or a pretty face in television projects an illusion that the personality is credible and that the presenters are subject matter experts.
I was given a regular segment in a popular television morning show that lasted for almost a year, and the producers persist in casting me as a “Financial Expert.” I requested to have the title changed to “Entrepreneur” or “Business Consultant”, and in fairness to these hardworking people in media, they did. But the title persisted and the “perceived expertise” stuck with me for a long time. Today, I still see some personalities using media to project their lines of expertise. Knowing them all these years, I know they are not. But that is the power of media.
Today, social media and other digital platforms have expanded and amplified what is called “mindless crowd or group-thinking” wherein the volume of the sound of these expressions are deemed more important than the quality of the voice of their content. This has dumbed down many none-thinking people in the process, and this is not a good thing. What we need to develop today are critical thinking skills that include the ability to determine which parts are bones and which parts are meat.
When educators are agitated because students question their teachings, then get a vicious verbal beating or worst, a failing grade. When churches and religious groups do not tolerate anyone who question their teachings, they start branding them as “rebels,” “infidels,” or “people lacking in faith”. This is certainly not the way to learn.
Critical thinking encompasses sustained inquiry, and responding to questions entail a lot of work and study. This is why many articulate speakers and charming trainers speak so eloquently behind the microphone, but are scared out of their wits when it comes to question-and-answer portion, and I have seen so many of them break down in the process.
Let me go back to what I said about “not sweating the small stuff”, then give it a different perspective this time. This time, apply a little “sweating” into it. Small things matter and we really need to sweat over the small stuff. Because these small stuff build and bring us to big things. Author Andy Andrews says:
“First, there is the big picture and then, there are the small details. Most people look at the big picture in terms of their desired success and goals. But, they do not have the patience to look at the tiny details. However, those who are mature, diligent, patient and those who pay attention to the small details will work on their projects better. They know that those small details are the foundation to bring them towards achieving their big results or seeing the big picture. Those who fail or neglect to take care of the little details will be disappointed. They will be disillusioned, because the tiny little details would dictate the things we need to do—not urgent but important—and those tiny little details also will tell us the things we should not do. You must not imagine the worst but instead, stay faithful in what you are doing. One day, you will arrive at the place where you would have wanted to be in the first place because you took care of the small stuff.
We are constantly motivated with the big picture of success, but we should also pay attention to the small details, for big things happen only when we do the small things right. Yes, there are many things that matter such as the big things and the small things. But what matters most should matter now, and the big things we dream about would one day happen but only when we sweat about the small things and improve on it now.”
Now that is stuff I would consider as meat and it would be good to swallow it, digest it and be nourished by it.
(Join Francis Kong as he presents a whole-day learning event this November 10, 2018 entitled: “Culture of Personal Excellence” from 10:00AM to 5:00PM at the beautiful Santolan Town Plaza, Little Baguio, San Juan. Limited seats available. For further inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online atwww. success options inc/cpe)