The Significance of Insignificance

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on August 1, 2012

Now, I realize that the title of this essay is a tongue twister.  But here is the point.

Have you ever heard or read that we spend the better parts of our lives chasing the insignificant?  Do you really buy that notion?

It is clearly found in the premise of the book “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson who suggests that we needn’t be overly concerned with the small stuff implying that the small stuff is somewhat insignificant.  Mr. Carlson misses it completely.

The “small stuff” is in fact, extremely significant.  Consequently at times, you have to sweat it out.

We lead busy lives.  We work hard, we make tough decisions, we face deadlines.  We plan, we make agreements, we debate, we choose, we buy, we hire, we fire, we find love, we get dumped. 

For those of us who are (unfortunately) unemployed, does this feel insignificant? Would Mr. Carlson claim that being unemployed is small stuff?

No, not in the least. 

How about when we are told to think about the big picture.  Oh yes, the big picture.

Looking at “the big picture” supposedly implies that our actions and even our lives are insignificant from the vantage point of some super sonic magnifying glass aimed at planet earth in a thousand years from now.

Give me a break.

Everything we do has significance and for that reason alone, nothing is insignificant.

What about the mundane things that we do every day, do they matter? 

You better believe it matters. 

Your actions have consequences to your life and for those in your life.  They matter. Every decision that you make from the minute you open your eyes in the morning has consequences.  Every agreement both large and small is significant. 

Toss a stone into a flat lonely lake and watch the ripple of the water.  Our actions ripple across each of us and changes the dynamic of our inner landscapes.

The reason that everything we do is significant is that all of our actions happen at the only time that matters: right now. 

Right now.

The past is only a trace left behind that we remember and the future is time that we anticipate based on the past, however: everything happens in the present moment.   The present moment counts because it’s all there is.  We take action now, not yesterday or tomorrow. 

That’s what gives significance to the “so called” insignificant. Every thought, every action in our lives matter. 

Forget the big picture, you won’t be around to see it. 

In summary, there is much significance in the insignificant because, of course nothing is in fact “insignificant.”  Everything counts.  Everything matters.  If the idea of looking at the big picture makes you feel better about your actions, then so be it. 

I don’t buy it.

Oh, and think about the big picture when your boss doesn’t give you the promotion that you so clearly deserve.  

Or not.

I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc.  I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at  I welcome your phone call.

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