If you can just manage five minutes a day [to meditate], then do that. It is important to do whatever you can, no matter how little.
I once wrote for a magazine: I made a calculation, that, if I should write but a page a day, at the same rate, I should, in ten years, write nine volumes in folio, of an ordinary size and print.
—Dr. Samuel Johnson
I feel powerless all the time, but I regain my energy by making a very small difference that won’t cost me much.
It is better to do the littlest thing in the world than to consider half an hour to be too little time.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
These minutes and quarters of an hour, which nearly all of us foolishly lose because we think it is hardly worthwhile to begin a thing, mount up in the course of a year to an enormous total.
Nothing surely is so potent as a law that may not be disobeyed. It has the force of the water drop that hollows the stone. A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.
All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance: it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals. If a man was to compare the effect of a single stroke of the pick-axe, or of one impression of the spade, with the general design and last result, he would be overwhelmed by the sense of their disproportion; yet those petty operations, incessantly continued, in time surmount the greatest difficulties, and mountains are levelled, and oceans bounded, by the slender force of human beings.
—Dr. Samuel Johnson
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. But I try to work one day at a time. If we just worry about the big picture, we are powerless. So my secret is to start right away doing whatever little work I can do. I try to give joy to one person in the morning, and remove the suffering of one person in the afternoon. That’s enough. When you see you can do that, you continue, and you give two little joys, and you remove two little sufferings, then three, and then four. If you and your friends do not despise the small work, a million people will remove a lot of suffering. That is the secret. Start right now.