It was going to be hot so I started my walk earlier than usual. I put on sunscreen and comfortable clothes, wore sneakers and selected my audiobook and set off.
About a quarter of my way through the walk, I felt something small in my shoe. It was not painful, but it was annoying. I kept walking, thinking it wasn’t worth the effort to remove the pebble. But then I stopped walking and asked myself: Why am I continuing walking in discomfort when it is so easy to fix?
I stopped, balancing on one leg, removed my shoes, and the tiny pebble dropped out. Ahhhh!Walking felt so much better.
I have always considered my self to be sensitive and needy. To fit in and appear cool, I suppressed many of my needs. I wanted to be “casual,” “easy,” to “go with the flow.” It took me until my 40s to realize that the only person I was hurting with this approach was myself. Everyone else was thrilled that I would just go with the flow—because it meant I would go with Their flow and not insist on my own preferences. It was so bad that I had to spend my 40s figuring out my preferences.
Now, back to the pebble in mine shoe. It wasn’t a big deal … but it was annoying. I go for walks to clear my head, to feel the breeze on my skin, to hear the birds, to learn from my audiobooks and podcasts, and smell the flowers. A pebble in my shoe can distract me and make it less pleasant. Small adjustments can have a huge impact.
In her book We All Should Be Millionaires author Rachel Rodgers talks about how one of her clients had a broken cabinet in her kitchen. She had to stuff her food and other supplies into the remaining cabinets which made it more difficult to navigate the kitchen. It made her kitchen time more difficult and caused her to break things. She also spent too much time looking for the right items. As Rachel writes, the cabinet was “stealing precious minutes of her precious time.” Finally, she took the time to hire someone to fix the cabinet, and $500 later, she no longer had to deal with the annoyance and she could feel good about her kitchen.
Even though they are minor annoyances, they can be distracting and take our energy, attention, and our creativity away. productivity. Consider the things that you find annoying on a daily basis. What would it take for you to get rid of those things and smoothen out your day? All of us deserve it.
I used to think having preferences made me look fragile and needy. What I now realize is that people with preferences can create an environment that suits them. Knowing your needs can make you empowered, practical, and self-aware. While there are some things we cannot control and you may not be able to fix them all, it is possible to bring more happiness into your life.
What small annoyances are stealing your joy, your attention, and your energy? How can they be fixed? You have my permission.