One of my housemate’s responsibilities is to take out the trash. Every week when he does it, he puts the wastebasket in my office back in a different position and rotates the newspaper recycling bin sideways. I constantly found myself putting it back in the “right” position.

And then I stopped.

It was a reminder to me that if I can’t get comfortable with — or at least let go of — such a minor, inconsequential change, no wonder people that I consult with have such a hard time accepting the major changes they are often asked to implement.

Does it really matter if the newspapers are horizontal or vertical? If the toilet paper rolls over or under? If the towels are folded in halves or thirds? If the seat is up or down? No. No, it does not matter.

Pay attention to the small things in your life that you do a certain way, then force yourself to mix it up and make tiny adjustments to the way things are. Learning to embrace variations in all their forms will strengthen your change muscle in preparation for the truly heavy lifts.

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