It’s so easy to say please and thank you — yet some folks don’t seem to bother. The fact is, some folks are rude and ungrateful; all they think about is themselves. Others never learned basic etiquette and are oblivious to the way people should behave. Still others have adopted bad habits and don’t even realize how they come across to others. While you may think that saying please and thank you is a mere nicety, failing to do so is more significant than you think.
It costs nothing to say please and thank you.
But forgetting those magic words can cost you everything.
When you say please and thank you, you’re displaying kindness and respect. While that’s a sign of proper manners, that’s only half the story.
When you make the effort to do small things well, you’re much more likely to do big things well. That’s because taking pride in what you do is habit forming. And it spills over to other areas of your life.
On the other hand, when you neglect small things — you guessed it — you’re developing poor habits. Therefore, every time you break a promise, neglect your appearance, fail to answer an email, forget a special occasion, treat authority with disrespect, tell a lie, show up late, use foul language, or raise your voice, consider the significance of your actions or inactions. They may come back to bite you one day.
Poor Habits Are Hard to Break
If you want good habits, it’s important to master the small things. Here are six considerations to keep in mind:
Take pride in yourself. Conduct is habit forming. When you do something repeatedly, your behavior becomes automatic. But remember, practice doesn’t make perfect if you’re doing it wrong.
Be retrospective. Look in the mirror. Ask yourself, are you doing your best? If not, today is a good time to start.
Follow your conscience. While you may question whether or not to do something inappropriate the first time it occurs, given another opportunity, you’re less likely to question it. Give that some thought.
Be accountable. Make good choices. You have the freedom to choose, but you’re not free from the consequences of those choices.
Raise your game. Ask folks for feedback. It’ll keep you on your toes.
Surround yourself with positive role models. Behavior is contagious. When enough people behave poorly, their actions are no longer viewed with contempt. In effect, immoral behavior can be considered acceptable over time.
Wrongs committed by enough people become the norm.
Master the Little Things
Some people ignore the small things, like please and thank you, because it’s easy. Others neglect small things because they’ve gotten away with it in the past. While most small offenses don’t attract a lot of attention, over time, the cumulative effect of these transgressions is significant — and as a result, the bar is lowered.
In addition, if you don’t face consequences for misdeeds, you’re much more likely to push your luck — and try to get away with something bigger the next time. While poor behavior may not have caught up with you yet…it will. So, if you think you’re getting away with something, you’re in for a rude awakening.
Most gamblers think they’re winners until they lose.
The next time you have an opportunity to say please or thank you, bear in mind the importance of those phrases. Those simple words are more than pleasantries; they’ll influence the way you address other areas of your life. When you do small things well, you’ll fall into the pattern of taking pride in the other things you do. Ask any superstar. It’s not enough to do your best on game day. You must master the fundamentals during practice, day in and day out. If you want to make it big, remember to do the small things well.
Do You Say Please and Thank You?
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