I’m a details person. I’m meticulous. It kind of drives me nuts sometimes.
I spent four solid days last month planning out the entire next school year. I spent three solid weeks planning a new class curriculum. Literally, from 7 am until 10 pm. For three weeks. I couldn’t stop until all the details were accounted for.
It kind of drives me crazy when I miss a detail, when I mess up something small.
I think detail guys don’t get a lot of credit. Details aren’t sexy. They don’t excite people. No one thinks accountants are great. They like the handsome guy at the front of the room selling the vision, the big picture. Let’s not get bogged down in the details. Let’s chase a dream. Every book and seminar is about having a big vision. You just don’t see people getting excited about mastering details.
We need big picture people. But today, just consider all the details that will determine your day.
The Devil…and Pretty Much Everything
Our brains are wired to ignore most details. If they didn’t, we’d go crazy. If you had to read every package at the store, you’d never finish shopping. But someone has to be paying attention.
A lot of people are upset today about a certain ruling that some high court made yesterday. Now, I don’t know many people who don’t agree with the idea, the vision of everyone being able to afford necessary healthcare. But 68% of Americans are upset…about the details. And there are a lot of them. Lots of details for the devil to hide in.
Details are like punctuation. They can change the entire meaning of a sentence. Like “Let’s eat, Grandpa,” versus “Let’s eat Grandpa.”
You can dress up in nice clothes, primp yourself, and walk out the door with leftover food stuck in your teeth. What are people going to notice?
Details are a sign of quality and craftsmanship. Thread counts, facets on stones, customized touches.
You certainly hope your spouse or your CPA is a details person when the IRS audits you. Keeping the books isn’t sexy, but neither are life jackets.
The Three Mile Island disaster resulted from a series of unfortunate details being missed. The hull of the Titanic was riveted together with thousands of details that failed under pressure. The passengers weren’t concerned with the details of the rivets when they bought their tickets. They bought the big “vision,” sailing across the Atlantic on the largest luxury ship ever built.
I certainly hope if a surgeon is ever scooping cancer cells out of me that he’s a detail kind of guy.
Weddings are about the “big picture.” Love and cherish in sickness and health…blah, blah, blah. It’s the details that keep the marriage alive, or kill it.
A hug, handshake, word of encouragement or thanks…or the lack thereof are all details.
…So is unkempt neck hair and armpit stains.
A tweet can’t fit more than a detail into it. Put enough tweets together, and you have a revolution in Egypt.
Details are the difference between saying you are a Christian, and living it out. Most of faith and life is in the details.
I hope if you aren’t one, that you have a detail person in your life. We need big picture people. They keep the rest of us employed. But it’s the details that make visions soar…or crash and burn.
Easy question for a Friday: are you a “big picture” person, or a “details” person.