By Gary Jansen
Published February 23, 2019
A MicroShift is a small change in the way we do things, in the way we perceive life, in the actions we take, or in the ways we understand our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. These tiny life modifications can ultimately lead to big and powerful changes in our overall physical, mental and spiritual health. And they normally don’t require too much effort, though of course to enact change we have to take action in one form or another.
In my book "MicroShifts: Transforming Your Life One Step at a Time" I suggest numerous small changes that many of us can do to help us thrive physically, mentally and spiritually. Are you feeling run down? Then, a tiny B12 daily vitamin, about the tenth of the size of a penny, can often boost your energy levels and clear the fogginess from your head. I know, I’ve done it.
Work in a high-rise building and want to get in some extra exercise? Start taking the stairs instead of the elevator when you arrive at work. Start off slow. Just walk up a couple of flights and then transfer to the elevator to get to your office. Make small increases each day. In a few weeks you’d be amazed at how many floors you can ascend. I know I’ve done it (of course, check with your doctor before trying any new type of exercise).
If you dump loose change every day into a giant, three foot, plastic Coca-Cola bottle piggy bank, after a couple of years you could put a down payment on a car. I know, I’ve done it.
Suspect that your boss doesn’t like you? Then, ask for a simple, five-minute meeting to touch base and talk. I know, I’ve done it!
Stressed all the time because your mind is constantly worrying about everything you have to do? Then three minutes of prayer or meditation a day can work wonders in alleviating some of that anxiety. I know I’ve done it.
For years I’ve been talking about one specific MicroShift I like to call the Power of one Percent. This is what I mean: there are 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day. That means there are 1,440 minutes in a day. So, one percent of one day equals 14 minutes and 24 seconds, or a little less than 15 minutes.
What would happen if we took just one percent of our day and dedicated that time to changing something in our life or helping the world around us? We can keep the other 99 percent of our day to take care of our family, to work, to attend school, to study, to sleep, to hang out on social media, argue over politics, or to post selfies. Think about it. What could you do with one percent of your time that would ultimately be good for your mind, body, and soul and maybe even good for others, too? And when you’re done thinking about it, take a little action.
Of course, time is always an issue, but even if my wife is busy getting everything ready to take our sons to school as I’m dashing off to the train, I can take an extra second to express my love for her.
Even if the grump I gave my seat to on the subway doesn’t thank me, I know that I did the right thing by getting off my butt.
Even if the homeless guy was looking for whiskey, I know that the couple of bucks and the minute of attention I gave him will help him through another day.
Even if I’m stuck in traffic, tired, and just want to get home, waiting a few seconds to let someone into the lane in front of me will do wonders for everyone on the road.
All these actions take very little effort, but they can truly save your life or the life of someone else. And by life I don’t mean merely saving your skin but saving the essence of who you are -- that is to say, your soul, the inexplicable part of you that makes you who you are. By saving your life I mean shaping your life, living with character and principles and a sense of purpose, even if that purpose is as simple as wanting to help make the world a better place by being polite to people and kind to puppies.
So for today consider this: You + a MicroShift = Big Results. Try it and MicroShift into a better life.