Little Things Can (Do!) Make All the Difference

This past weekend, I had the unique opportunity to compete in the USA Triathlon National Championships. In brief, this is a weekend that brings together triathletes from around the country to compete for the title at two different distances. Saturday is the Olympic Distance (1500 M Swim, 40K Bike, 10K Run) and then Sunday is the Sprint Distance event, which is comprised of half of those distances (750 M, 20K and 5K). This was my first time in 13 years to compete at US Nationals due to a focus on longer events, and it showed.

After finishing 3rd on Saturday, it was clear that Sunday would be tightly contested. 4 of the top 5 on Saturday were returning Sunday morning for the shorter event. Long story short: I had the fastest combined swim, bike and run times, yet finished second.

Nobody cheated. There was no subjective element. The guy who beat me did it fair and square. He won and he deserved to win. But if I had the fastest Swim/Bike/Run, then how is that possible? Very simple – he didn’t “just” have a solid Swim/Bike/Run. He also took care of the little things (in this case, the transitions) that in the end made all the difference. In a triathlon, your total time doesn’t just include the three sports – it also includes the transition time from swim to bike and from bike to run. He took care of business there, and as a result, crossed the finish line 15 seconds in front of me.

The life lesson in this for ourselves or our wellness clients is clear. It’s easy to focus on the “big” things or the headlines. However, the fact is that it’s often the little things that have the biggest impact in the overall outcome. What’s that “little” thing you’ve been ignoring in your business or personal life? Maybe today would be the perfect day to “transition” to putting extra focus on those little things that, in the end, make a big, big difference.

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