Tiny, But Mighty

By Patrick McNerthney

A few years ago I worked for a start-up beverage company. We made a bottled coffee drink, rich in probiotics, protein, and caffeine (although not bezerker amounts of caffeine like in energy drinks, more like strong, “It’s 6 a.m. and I MUST WAKE UP” amounts). 

Our product came in slim 8- or 12-ounce bottles, and one of the headlines for the ad for our mocha flavor was, “Tiny, But Mighty.” Get it? Eh? Not bad right? 

Fast-forward 5 years. It snowed about four inches here in Seattle last weekend (which is a ton for us–people totally freak out). Being a responsible citizen, I shoveled and salted our sidewalk (okay, mostly out of lawsuit paranoia vs. good citizenship), and during this sweating, grunting labor, I got some of the salt chunks in my boots–you know, little bits of salty salt… 

Okay, not that much snow…but a lot of snow for Seattle.

So as time passed, those tiny grains became chunks; chunks that drove me nuts as I clomped around shoveling. Possibly made worse by some snow trickling down inside my jacket, thanks to my kid, pelting yours truly with snowballs. Which also got some flecks of dirt in my eye which blindness- combined with the enormous chunks of salt in my boots and snow flowing down my back (small gasp) – became the only things I could think about. 

Amazing physical specimen that I am (as my wife will attest: incredibly tough, built like a combination of Mark Wahlberg, L.L. Cool J, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, I swear), these few, small, “Tiny, But Mighty” irritants caused me excruciating annoyance, displeasure, and misery. 

You, the dedicated, amazing reader, are undoubtedly asking, “So what’s your point?” Fine, I’ll tell you!

“Tiny, But Mighty” relates to our own work, every day. This happens in two ways; one bad, one good. Let’s break it down… 

The Bad Way:

  • “I failed at (fill in the blank) when I tried that new approach to (insert problem trying to solve) last year.”
  • “Cindy whistles and it drives me nuts. Who whistles?”
  • “Customers just complain and complain, it’s endless.”
  • “I’m never recognized for my contribution.” 

In this case, focusing on the “Tiny, But Mighty” things we don’t like – from mistakes we made, to clueless coworkers, to dissatisfied customers, to only thinking, “What’s in it for me?” creates a lot of unhappiness and derails us from our purpose.

The Good Way

  • “I spoke up at that meeting, and it turns out other folks were thinking the same thing I was.” 
  • “The boss seems to really appreciate it when I ask how she’s doing or if she needs help.” 
  • “I go out of my way to welcome new staff members.”
  • “Publicly praising someone who did a good job really seems to brighten up this place.” 

In this case, despite our relative size, we’re “Tiny, But Mighty” when we choose to build what we want with our own actions, instead of waiting for it to magically happen (ie. for someone else to do it). By doing so, we are agents of change, and influence others. We create beauty, solve interesting problems, and make things better. 

Just lil’ ol’ tiny, but mighty, US.

(Oh, it can be hard to speak up in those meetings.)

So what’s it gonna be this year? You get to choose between focusing on the little things you don’t like that drive you nuts. Or you get to choose to lead by going first, creating the very world you – and everyone else – desperately needs.  

If it’s the former…well,just don’t choose the former! Choose the latter! The good news is Fine Art Miracles (FAM) can help. 

We’re REALLY good at helping caregivers of the under-served build the world they want to see for their residents and loved ones through creative expression. It turns out our Art Therapy, Dance and Movement Therapy, Drama Therapy, Multi-Sensory Sessions and ART2GO packages (and much more) generate the feelings, emotions, and behaviors the elderly, children with challenges, or anyone requiring assistance with daily life need in their battle with anxiety, depression, and fear. Namely…

  • confidence
  • self-worth
  • a sense of mastery
  • relevance to the outside world
  • hope 
  • connection with their tribe (who doesn’t want to belong?) 

We know it’s not easy to build the caring, empowered community you want to see. But keep in mind that you may be Tiny, but you are also Mighty, and we’re here to help! Please give us a call or drop us a note and we’ll help you come up with a plan.

It seems this darn city is out of that ice melter salt stuff AGAIN. Which is bad, as it’s snowing like a banshee AGAIN. But at least I won’t get those salt chunks down my boots this time. As for the snow down my jacket, I figure if I make my kid do all the shoveling he won’t have time to pelt me with snowballs. Why didn’t I think of that before…?



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