Small, seemingly insignificant things

This is a photo of Gus. I stopped and talked to him in the parking lot of my hotel last night. It was a beautiful evening, and he had the Giants game on the radio. I asked him about his exercise-baseball combination, and he told me that listening to the baseball game was the only time he really “just sits around”, noting to himself, “I should make myself useful while I’m sitting here.” Hence the exercise.

Two things struck me about this:

  1. talking to him for a while reminded me of how much I learned about people from my 10 years of practising physical therapy, and how inspiring fairly unremarkable things can be; and
  2. more importantly, that self-inquiry (such as how to make one’s self “useful”) is not common enough in today’s world. Sure, it’s just an expression, but how often do you stop to ask yourself, “how can I be useful in the world today?”

Having spent the last few days with some brilliant behaviour change and habit experts, it also occurred to me that small, seemingly insignificant things—like Gus using his baseball as a cue to exercise—can be the key to developing lifelong, healthy habits.

Start small. Start now. #keystochange

Dallas Hartwig is the co-creator of Whole9Life and the Whole30 program. New York Times bestselling author. Free-range human.