The Smallest Investments that Yield the Biggest Returns

If you could improve something that matters to you in three minutes a day would you do it?

Small investments make a huge difference.


We’re doing a hugging experiment in our home. I’ve been hugging my wife for one minute. Three times a day I set the timer on my phone for one minute and we hug until the alarm goes off.

After a few days we agreed that hugging makes life better and life was already good.

What kind of person wouldn’t spend three minutes a day making life better?

The smallest investments that yield the biggest returns:

#1. Begin your day on your knees.

Spend at least one minute humbling yourself. If you believe in prayer, do so. If you don’t believe in prayer, kneel and bow in silence.

I have found deep resistance in my heart to kneeling. This resistance points to a need for humility.

Everything good in leadership begins with humility.

#2. Say “Good Morning”.

A friend of mine recently changed jobs. When I asked how he liked it, he said, “Everyone says ‘Good morning’. Not just the boss.”

If saying, “Good morning,” improves work, why wouldn’t you walk around saying “Good morning”?

#3. Say “Please”.

You don’t mind asking people to do things. Maybe you don’t mind telling people to do things. But when was the last time you said, “Would you please …?”

Confession: “Please” makes me uncomfortable. I can say, “Would you take care of …?” But when you add the word “please” it sticks in my throat.

“Please” humbles you and honors others.

#4. Say “You’re awesome”.

Notice something good about EVERYONE and then tell them what you notice.

Don’t wait for perfection to compliment imperfect people.

If that irritating employee is as bad as you think, fire them. Or, fire yourself for hiring them.

What small things make a big difference for you? For others?


Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon. Booker T. Washington

Bonus material:

7 Small Changes that will Make a Big Difference in Your Life (Success)

The Small Behaviors that Create Excellence at Work (The Ladders)