Get Joey's free weekly beBetter Leadership blog:

beBetter Blog

Little Leaf Big Barrier

By Joey Havens

Share this post:

"Habits" wrecking ball hitting the word "Life"

So I’m running late to make it to the office for a cherished face-to-face meeting (I’m a little zoomed out, how about you?).

Entering the garage, our third garage door is open. Hmmm, I know I came out last night and hit the buttons to put all three doors down. Yet, there it is, wide open. Something must be too close to the sensor at the bottom of the door.

Sure enough, there’s an ice chest that is very close to the edge and must be blocking the signal. Quickly moving the ice chest further in the garage, I start up my truck, hit the garage button and back out. Watching in my rearview mirror, the third door starts down and then goes back up! What?! I don’t have time for this.

Jumping out with the clicker in hand, I hit it again, and the door starts down and then goes back up.
There’s clearly nothing sitting in the way. This is crazy! Looking at the left side, nothing seems to be awry, as I bend down to look at the right side, I see a little leaf that is lodged in front of the sensor, so small it’s hard to even see unless you get close to it.

It is incredible that a leaf this small could blow in and get caught at just the right angle to shut the garage door signal down and make it inoperable. Laughing, I pull it out, hit the button and a sense of relief floods over me as I scurry back to my truck.

As I reflect on my morning experience, it reminds me of how often the little things, little habits, have held me up the most from my full potential. It’s the things that are easy to do, yet they are so easy not to do. It’s the little things that often set us up for failure when it’s our time to close the deal.

With a mindset of #beBetter, we can identify these little things and either pull them out and throw them away or maybe it’s a little thing that would make us better. Even today, if I had planned better, left my house sooner, this little leaf would not have stressed me as much. I would be in a better frame of mind when I entered my meeting rather than in recovery mode from rushing so much. I would have been better prepared.

It’s lots of little things that grab us and hold us down or that could lift us up. Focus just 15 minutes more before we pick our phone up to see if someone desperately misses us. And yes, we are our own biggest interruption. Putting the phone out of sight so our minds focus better, a little but effective thing. (Science, by the way) Reading 15 minutes a day on a subject for growth in expertise or personal development. Anyone wasting 15 minutes a day?

If we stop and think, we can each find that little leaf causing our full potential to hang up like my garage door. What is your little leaf today?