Have you ever noticed those people that just leave the shopping cart next to their cars instead of returning them to the “return stack?”  What inconsiderate jerks, right?!  Well, until recently, that was me.  I used the typical justification that selfish people use: “it’s too far from my car,” or “I’m with my daughter and don’t want to leave her alone in the car,” or the timeless classic, “if I return the shopping cart myself, I’ll be taking a job away from someone who is hired to do that.”

Recently, I started trying something new.

I started changing small habits, just as an experiment.  First I started brushing my teeth with my left hand.  Then I started tying my shoes in reverse.  Finally, I started making my bed every morning before leaving my place (yes, I’m a grown man that never made my bed).  All these things felt different, in a good way.

So I moved on to bigger things that were historically more difficult for me to tackle.  I started exercising daily and making  better food choices.  Suddenly, I found myself organizing my weeks more effectively and consistently, and making wiser spending and saving decisions.  I also started writing daily (journal, blogs, guides for my team).

The point is, the little things count, and they have a ripple effect in our lives.  So why did I start returning the shopping cart to its proper place?  I simply want to live a better life, and I have decided, at the ripe age of 39, to be more intentional about it.  As Aristotle proclaimed,

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not and act, but a habit”

It’s never too late, and we can never begin quickly enough.  If you’re looking for some habits that can propel you forward professionally, click here to access Dale Carnegie’s Secrets of Success.


Posted by Ryan M. Akins

Investor, Entrepreneur, Listener and Learner. Ryan currently serves as Regional President of Dale Carnegie for the North Texas region. He graduated from The Dale Carnegie Course in 2011.


  1. The good thing about our habits is they can be changed at any time. This change can be made through little habits and actions, because, as you said “the little things count”.

    Liked by 1 person


    1. I found myself nodding my noggin all the way thurogh.

      Liked by 1 person


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