I imagine many of us sometimes have thoughts (and not infrequently) along the lines of "eh, it doesn't matter if I do this" (or, dont do it). "This little thing doesn't matter." "It doesn't make a difference." These thoughts can arise and be in reference to all manner of things, from smiling at a colleague (or not), to taking three minutes to write a short and sweet love note to our partner one morning (or not), to spending 10 extra minutes on the treadmill (or not), to eating an extra cookie (or not), to picking up the phone and calling someone you care about in those free minutes during break today (or not).
Often enough, we brush these things off and think, eh, no big deal. Ill get to it another time, sometime soon. It doesn't matter so much.
It does. It matters, very much.
Every single thing we do (or do not do) has rippling effects. A few of which we can observe or sense, though most of which we have no awareness of. Everything we do matters, whether positive or negative. All of it.
Smiling at your colleague might brighten their morning where it was otherwise dark. Giving them a momentary boost. Making them feel good for a second. It may be a brief, fleeting, though worthwhile positive feeling between the two of you. This is worth it.
Writing that love note, even just 3-4 sentences, may just be a token your love will carry with them throughout the week. Reading and rereading it, feeling buoyed, loved, and cherished each time they do so. Their heart warming and filling. That seeming small gesture, something that resounds within them long thereafter.
Those extra 10 minutes spent working out can mean the difference between looking slightly more toned in the week or two to come or not.
Eating an extra cookie can be the difference between feeling crappier, more lethargic later on, guilty and bummed with yourself, or on not eating it, significantly better.
Calling someone you care about can leave both of you feeling a glow of joy for several hours, even for a few days afterward on recounting the great conversation you had with and thus, connection felt with someone whom you care for in your life.
These things, they all matter.
Getting home early and starting dinner can lift your partners spirits on their walking in the door, tired and hungry. Sending a hand written thank you note in the mail, giving someone the return gift of feeling appreciated and joyous for their gesture towards you. Pausing for two seconds to snap a photo can mean a memory saved, and even framed, for years to come. Taking a deep breath and being kind to someone on the phone (when actually, you feel impatient) can leave them feeling warmed for hours following.
Skipping the gym one night to go home and work on a personal project on which you have been yearning to, can mean the difference between getting it done or not. Deciding on an alternate route home one day can be the factor that results in your meeting someone whom you wouldn't have otherwise. Picking up and reading a particular book can lead one to flourishing personal passion or interest, one they didn't have prior, which takes their life in a totally alternate direction from what where it seemed previously headed.
These things can matter in the opposite way too. Saying "no" can mean protecting your time to be better spent elsewhere, or leaving what feels like an iffy situation or person can mean the avoiding of what might have been a bad moment or choice.
It all matters.
On a slightly different vein, though certainly connected, many people struggle with the notion that their work (aka their job) isn't good enough, or even, is meaningless. That what they do "doesn't matter."
In our culture, which largely defines one another by "what we do," this can be an easy thing to feel insecure or disheartened over. (Asking ourselves questions such as: is my job prestigious enough? "Important" enough? Do I make "enough" money for my worth? Am I known in my field? Am I "making a mark"? Does my title or work sound good to others? Will other people be impressed by my job? Am I doing something relevant and interesting?)
Quick side, separate point: if you hate your work and cannot find any meaning within, this is something worth exploring, and imminently. We get one shot at life. One chance here on this earth, and its going fast. Do not waste it spending most of your waking hours doing something you hate and that feels void of meaning. This is not the time to be passive or inactive. Seek out, search for, and pursue that which fills your heart with light and meaning. It may take some time and efforts to find and build this, but it can be done, and will most certainly be worth it.
However, that aside, whatever your job might currently be, the questions we tend towards asking ourselves such as "do you make a lot of money," "does your title and work sound good," "is what you are doing important enough," these are missing some major points and potentially focusing on the wrong thing. In what way? Because all of the things we do, minute and significant, throughout each of our daily lives...they matter. Whether you have yet landed a job that fills your soul or not, that aside, still the makings of your day and the choices you make, all of them are relevant and do make a difference.
However it all stands right now, you have the power every single day of your life to make major differences in the lives of those with whom you interact, both directly and indirectly. You are probably just not tapping into those thoughts and almost endless possibilities at the moment. You are not harnessing and taking hold of these opportunities and potentials, which exist in abundance. Imagine all the potential beyond the realm of the little bit which you can see. Its immense.
Meanwhile, everything you do has power, makes a difference, has meaning, and matters. There can be such meaning, as well as shifting and altering potential, found throughout your day. Both related to your work, and not.
If you select a varied, delightful, delicious catered lunch for an upcoming work meeting (something different, not the same old menu), this can thrill and make someones day. Because come on, who doesn't love delicious food? If you spark an engaging and interesting conversation with some colleagues, this can be something they return to thinking about, long past the conversations conclusion. On doing a favor for someone a work, you might lighten their load and make their day in the process.
And then beyond work, if you post an article on your blog, though feel disheartened because "your numbers are low," still there are people reading it, at least a few. And whom you may have inspired, provoking thought within, lifted or brought joy, moved, or entertained. Your words, affecting or even altering someone else. That is big. If you recommend a book to a colleague, friend, or love that changed your life and they read it, you might well be affecting theirs profoundly as well (in their reading it too). If you surprise someone you love with a gesture of affection, caring, immensely love, this can be something they never forget.
In playing five or ten extra minutes with your beloved pet during the evening, you may lift their spirit and bring a sense of contentment and happiness to them which makes their day. Grabbing a small treat that your love or roommate or family member loves on the way home from work to them, you can make their day. In attending a class on a topic which interests you, it can change the trajectory of your life purpose and career.
Embarking on an adventure which unnerves you, though which you long to traverse, this can enrich your life by leaps and bounds, be something you revel in and cherish forever (as opposed to, if you hadn't and instead, let fear dictate your path). In applying for a position you think is out of your league, still, it might change everything. In turning towards someone instead of away (in a moment which you may be wishing to do anything other), it can make all the difference in their life. In asking a particular question which scares you, though burns bright in your heart, it can be the game changer of your life.
None of this is to say that one should be wracked with anxiety over every choice in their life, worrying about whether they say yes or no, choose "right or wrong." Instead, its merely saying that regardless of the nature of ones choice or path, that all of it has weight. That everything we do is relevant.
Our lives are laden with meaningful moments, potential, and important, relevant experiences as well as interactions, throughout each and every day. Both, inside of our jobs which we do daily to fund our life, as well as far outside of and beyond such.
It all matters. Ruminate on that as you go through your next days.