The Little Things Make a Big Difference

There’s something about ‘going big’.  We all know it.  And some secretly, while the rest of us openly, desire it.  We want to be a big success in everything that we put our hands to do.  And to make a big impact in the lives of as many people are we’re graced to touch.  Whether it be as a spouse, parent, child or sibling, or in society generally, the workplace, our communities, or globally, we want to achieve big.  We want to produce the results of our efforts, and we strive to do this to the best of our abilities.  This gives purpose and satisfaction.  And the recognition that sometimes comes with it is a bonus.  I mean, why bother except to be significantly impactful, hugely inspirational, and greatly content at the end of it all?

This is one of the reasons why people all over the world wake up every day, work hard at the things set before them, and invest their time and money (to name a few).  For many, the beginning of each calendar year marks the dawn of a new vision, with set targets to achieve in the periods ahead.  Everyone’s pushing and most are achieving their goals.  For this reason, there should be no shortage of people that have peace after all the doing.  Yet this is arguable for a large number. 

You’ve heard it said many times.  “Go big or go home”.  And no words could be truer.  The world is so big.  There are about 8 billion of us on the earth divided by country, language, society, culture and beliefs, yet united by education, drive, ambition, action and, ultimately, the ideas we bring to life and their impact on people generally.  The creations at the hand of man are incredible and advancing at such an alarming rate, and it’s most inspiring to observe.  For some of us it awakens the beasts lying quietly within, stirring a hunger to do more, achieve more and be more, as ‘the beast’ awaits its appointed time to shine too.  Simply because those who’ve gone ahead have shown us that it’s possible.  And we want a taste of it too.  After all, there’s enough world for all of us and room for each of us to make it big without taking from any other person.  What a comforting thought.

But, while this is true, we’ve observed several unintended negative consequences from the drive to be big.  That in so doing, some of the little things have been missed.  Because here’s the thing.  When the focus is big, everything done in the context of it is big.  Understandably so.  Whatever the man does, he uses all his efforts, invests the bulk of his time, and primarily focuses on it.  With little or insufficient attention given to the little things.  And so, you find a man who’s always pushing but hardly ever present or in the moment.  A man who’s producing great results but at the cost of something else.  Because big comes with opportunity costs.  Man justifies this as the price that must be paid to be big.  A sort of ‘success tax’.  And so, while he grows in success and stature, day-by-day he shrinks relative to the little things.  Some even to the point of becoming insignificant.  Importantly, mental health issues are increasing at a disturbing rate in the world today.  Many are citing that they suffer from depression, or feelings of inadequacy, emptiness and the like.  Something’s disturbing them, and they can’t quite figure out what it is.  A significant number are in therapy or receiving treatment.  Some get better but others just aren’t.  And the number of suicide cases is increasing.  Just recently I learnt of an elderly lady, a mother, wife, and successful businesswoman, who committed suicide.  It’s becoming increasingly apparent that despite the outward successes, something’s still missing. 

I believe that there’s an important lesson that we can learn early from all of this.  And I use the word early intentionally because the sooner we do, the sooner we can start to change this narrative.  Granted, there are also bigger issues at play, and the solution won’t always be fired in a single shot.  But we’ve got to start somewhere, right?  So, while it’s commendable to go big all the time, it’s important to go little some of the time too.  Because, after it’s all said and done, what makes you big is not only the strides you take or moves you make, but also who you become.  If that person becomes smaller and smaller inside despite growing bigger and bigger outside, something’s wrong.  Success should sit comfortably in every area of one’s life.  To be successful, you should be prosperous in all areas, with nothing broken or missing in any part.  Call me naïve or idealistic, but we have for too long accepted the idea that you must compromise on certain areas of your life in order to achieve the greater vision.    

We’ve taken these principles to heart in our business.  Because Tsim & Bibi is, after all, a separate legal entity and person at law.  While we pride ourselves in going big, with our grand wedding cakes, birthday cakes and the like, we appreciate the importance of the little things too.  That although many of the customers who walk through our doors are looking for big, a large number are also seeking the little.  With this in mind, we already have our range of biscuits, scones, cupcakes, mini cakes, toffee apples and slush, which are poised to give our customers that bite of pleasure, lick of indulgence, touch of sweetness and slither of decadence.  And going forward, we’ve been working on a range of new little products for 2022.  We’re kicking the launch of these off with macaroons, which will be available for purchase from the end of March.  The flavours include Lemon, Chocolate, Coffee, Almond, Blueberry, Vanilla, Pumpkin, Mint, Pistachio, Coconut, Orange, Peanut Butter, Strawberry and Chilli, and are guaranteed to transport you straight to Heaven (via Paris) with your first bite.  We will follow these with the launch of additional little products in the months ahead, all of which have been designed to add depth to our offering and give our customers optionality.    

Life has so many lessons to teach us which can be applied in every area, if we’re willing to hear the voices speaking, receive the guidance with humility and take positive action to implement the required changes.  This is how we grow and continually improve ourselves.  This is how we stay relevant and move with the changing times.  And this is also how we keep our uniqueness.  Because we’re constantly redefining ourselves relative to our last best selves.  Competing with no one, but running our own races with everything we’ve got, just like everyone else running alongside us.

The Greek Philosopher Plato coined the phrase “ship of state”, from the ancient and often cited metaphor that ‘big ships turn slowly’.  This metaphor was used nicely in recent times by Former American President Barack Obama who said “nations are like ocean liners: you turn the wheel slowly, and the big ship pivots.  Sometimes your job is just to make stuff work.  Sometimes the task of government is to make incremental improvements or try to steer the ocean liner two degrees north or south so that, ten years from now, suddenly we’re in a very different place than we were”.  American Writer Adam Gopnik explained it this way.  “That Former President Barack Obama wasn’t saying that big ships aren’t worth the turning, just that it takes time.  That their very bigness is what makes them turn slowly, but their bigness is what makes them worth turning”.

So, we’re here cheering you on as you go big in your individual spaces.  Give big your best shot and make it count!  But as you do, here’s a caution not to forget the little things.  Make time for your loved ones, cherish the special moments, be always present, and enjoy yourself.  And you can apply these principles more specifically relative to your individual circumstances.   Perhaps you can even make room for Tsim & Bibi too and take us along the ride.  Because whether it be in the big things or the little, whether you’re looking for that grand statement or quiet expression of love, we’ve got something to satisfy your taste buds.  After all.  The little things make a big difference.  And we get this.

Yours in baking,

Chi   

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