The Little Things

Curly haired woman giving a teddy bear to her little daughter outdoors in the park - family lifestyle concept.
image: iStock/Getty

You know, when you zoom out and look at life, it’s easy to get caught up in the big stuff. Major milestones, huge decisions, the big “aha!” moments. 

I’ve been thinking about this recently as I’ve been working on my next book. I found myself reflecting on the day my first book was published.

While the actual publication itself was exciting, there were millions of moments before it. Writing in the middle of the night (for a while it was the only time I could find), how my partner and my family supported me writing it, the feedback I received from friends in my early drafts, the days spent editing, the highs and lows, rejections from publishers, writing in coffee shops, writing in the park when it was sunny, and much more.

It’s so easy to focus on the seemingly big stuff in life, but it’s the little things that matter most.

Take, for instance, the small gestures we experience every day. A friend giving you a gentle pat on the back, that smile you share with someone in passing, when someone unexpectedly pays for your coffee, or a FaceTime from a family member just to say Hello. On their own, they might not seem like much, but when you pile them all up, these are the things that warm our hearts and make our memories.

And let’s not forget how the tiniest things can just make your day. The smell of coffee brewing when you wake up (well, it does it for me at least), birds putting on a morning concert, the feel of your favourite old book in your hands, or a dog licking your face to tell you it’s time to get up. 

A moment ago, as I wrote that last sentence, my dog, Daisy, made a little whine, which is her way of saying, “Daddy, rub my tummy.” So I did. Maybe she sensed I was thinking about her. It’s these details that add a touch of colour and joy to our daily grind.

I find that by really tuning into these small moments, I start to see the world a bit differently. I feel more gratitude for my life and for the people who I share it with. It’s suddenly seeing the world in fine HD instead of the grainy SD when we’re only looking at the bigger things.

Paying attention to all the little wonders that usually zoom past makes life richer and more fun.

So, while the big moments have their spotlight and are important, let’s not forget that it’s those day-to-day tidbits that make life genuinely beautiful. They remind us that we’re all in this together, and that there’s beauty in the seemingly ordinary. 

Let’s cherish the little things a bit more, shall we?

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  1. Barbara on September 22, 2023 at 8:44 am

    I was teaching that the other day in a mindfulness seminar.
    I find it so important to be reminded and not just teaching it. So thanks David for your blog reminding me

    • David Hamilton on September 22, 2023 at 9:04 am

      Great you were teaching it too. Yes, I think I often need the reminder too. 🙂

      • Angela on September 25, 2023 at 5:07 pm

        so true !

      • Anita Frewen on September 26, 2023 at 7:38 am

        Thanks David always a joy to read your written word!
        It always comes to me at a significant time.
        I’ll be waiting for your new book to come out in Spring 2024
        Love & Peace

  2. nikki hillhouse on September 22, 2023 at 8:54 am

    Yes wonderful reminders, we can often miss the joy in the small things, thanks for your post today david.i am working on a big project and after reading this it has made me more aware of the small things.
    I have just brewed a fresh coffee the smell, then to savour the taste isn’t it wonderful to appreciate the small things which are actually big things too!!

    have a beautiful day:-)

    • David Hamilton on September 22, 2023 at 9:03 am

      Absolutely. I love that freshly brewed coffee smell too. In fact, I think I’ll go make myself another cup now. 🙂

    • David Hamilton on September 22, 2023 at 9:03 am

      Oh, and have a beautiful day too. 🙂

  3. Justine on September 22, 2023 at 9:42 am

    Just what I needed to read.. I feel like I’ve lost my way lately .. I need to be grateful for the little things

    • David Hamilton on September 22, 2023 at 9:58 am

      I hope you find your way. I sometimes feel that life nudges us to consider the little things. Like it’s saying that the answers we’re looking for are right under our noses. 🙂

      • Fiona Wilson on September 26, 2023 at 6:10 am

        David, thanks for your thoughtful blog, just what I needed to set me up for a good day…Tuesdays have turned out to be my ‘brave’ days when I step out of my comfort zone and reach out to my local community and ask them to support my creative endeavours.. it can feel scary at times but you’ve reminded me today to relish the chance to connect and enjoy the little moments of this brave new journey

  4. Gillian N on September 22, 2023 at 10:14 am

    ….just woken the cats up in the kitchen for their gentle exodus into the garden – all that yoga stretching, yawning, brushing by my legs, grooming, eating some biscuits and milk, trying to out-stare each other and finally a look-see out the crack of the door and finally ‘yes, think it’s ok to go out but leaving my tail a bit in the doorway just in case I change my mind…’ And finally, finally they’re out…it can take 20 minutes, what!! But it’s mediation in motion, silent hand/paw and eye contact, an exercise in patience and I wouldn’t change any of this little daily routine…

  5. Nat Snuggs on September 22, 2023 at 10:55 am

    such a great reminder, and thank you for the short blog: another reminder that just a few well chosen words can have a big impact. also sometimes the long blogs people write can feel overwhelming. im currently disabled following an accident and operation so need to focus on little joys each day enjoy being with Daisy!

  6. Doug on September 22, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    How true, we rush through life and only look back to realise when we were in a moment that really mattered.

  7. Julie on September 22, 2023 at 10:32 pm

    Well said David! I think we all needed this reminder of the little things (but are really the big things)! Thanks!

  8. Christiane Bradshaw on September 23, 2023 at 1:55 am

    From a distance, a mountain looks magnificent and powerful and gives us a sense of the wonders of the universe. But when you start to climb it and find, in a little glade, tiny white flowers shaped like stars, you also feel a sense of awe. The miniscule things that lie quietly unremarked, these are the things that sustain me. Thank you David.

    • Jessica on December 3, 2023 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you Christiane for that wonderful example of how to find and really see the small things!

  9. Jay on September 23, 2023 at 9:54 am

    I needed to read this David. Currently caring for my four-month-old and feeling like I am only thinking about or dwelling on when my time will be up with him and having to return to full time work. It’s important to embrace the little things. Thank you!

  10. Helen B on September 24, 2023 at 6:50 am

    Equally it’s often the small things that can take us over the edge, for example we can deal with illness, heartache, a washing machine breaking…then we find we don’t have a postage stamp to hand to post a birthday card…and the whole world can feel like it’s crashing in!

    But on the positives, yes I get this….the small things like appreciating the fresh sheets on your bed, finding a convenient car parking space, or simply, an act of kindness from a stranger like a smile or holding the door open when you’re laden with bags.

    ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff,’ equally ‘Savour the small stuff!’

  11. Renate on September 24, 2023 at 7:26 am

    Dear David, thank you for reminding us! I still remember the tender moments with my cat Pepe and now just looking at this wonderfully warm eyes of my grandchildren, feeling their little hand in mine…I feel so grateful
    I was waiting for your newsletter. With a friendly hello from Germany, Renate

  12. Wendy on September 24, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for this David . I had a magical moment when my eight year old grandson and I just stopped and just listened to the birds today.

  13. Caroline Swinburne on September 25, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    I’m enjoying listening to 3 of my children, young adults, chatting and laughing in the other room. This is a timely reminder as I navigate yet another change in circumstances.

  14. Neil Morrison on September 27, 2023 at 5:50 pm

    Lovely sentiments David and fellow commenters – I appreciate all of your contributions

  15. Telkom University on November 8, 2023 at 8:06 am

    What life lessons can we draw from “The Little Things,” and how can they be applied in our own lives?

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