Forward, as occasion offers.

Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it… Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.”  ~ Marcus Aurelius

Who is to say that success in the smallest matters is naught but a trifle? Likely the same person who feels that the only important successes are large and visible.

I had a number of little successes yesterday, all of which brought order out of chaos and improvement where there was decay. I cleaned the breakfast room windows, untangled the drawstrings to the shades, shocked the pool, clipped my dog, cleaned and conditioned the leather chairs, helped my friend mount new saddle racks in the barn, worked on my walk-trot-walk transitions, groomed my horse, cleaned my hawk’s mews and weathering and took time to prepare for today in the evening. A busy, yet productive day!

At no point did I consider any one of the tasks I undertook to be inferior to other, bigger, projects, neither did I feel limited or “less-than” for having to do these chores. Making value judgments about what must be done can spoil a project before it even begins. I love the statement: “Forward, as occasion offers.” If it is the right thing to be doing at the right time, it needs no further qualification.

You have the opportunity in every moment of your day to move forward or backward, to bring order or perpetuate chaos. Rather than judging what needs to be done, look instead to the intrinsic value of the activity, see it for what it offers in the way of momentum towards a larger goal. I imagine many people deem potentially valuable tasks as being unimportant simply because they have not yet seen how what they are doing adds value to the larger picture for which they are responsible and contributes positively to the goals to which they aspire.

I am always keen to appreciate and acknowledge the little successes in life, whether they be mine or wrought by another. They are never trifles and the tendency to overlook or dismiss them as being unimportant fritters away confidence, assurance and momentum in the world you center and in the hearts and minds of those around you.

If ever there was cause for celebration it is this: that the value of the little successes was restored today in and through you. Take heart when you have a small success, take note and compliment the little successes of those around you and in so doing you will find more of your actions to be in line with your larger goal of leaving this world in better condition that you found it.

7 thoughts on “Forward, as occasion offers.

  1. Colin

    If you can take as much pride in the little things as in the larger things, you will always be ready for the weird things that life will throw your way.


  2. brigitte

    That is cause for celebration! I would imagine that if we are looking for successes, that we’ll see them where before we may have just glossed right over them. Great post, thanks!


  3. Pete Thompson

    I see your point here. To not be conscious of and acknowledge the little successes in oneself and others is a huge waste of opportunity. So if one is feeling they aren’t being given the opportunities, look again. The means for the momentum needed to move, as your blog states, “onward and upward” is in the small opportunities which are given freely to each of us.


  4. Coco

    I love this quote by Thoreau, “Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour”. If I value my whole life, I value it’s moments and understand the little successes are just a measure of it. The same for enjoyment. Enjoy the moments and your life is enjoyable!


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