The devil is in the details. I've heard that phrase hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. I've used it before and not thought much of it. But last week, I finally decided to give it some thought. Here's a glimpse of what ran through my mind.
Oddly enough, while researching the origins of this idiom, I found out it was derived from an old German saying, "God is in the details". Somehow along the way, one person saw that the details were something worth giving serious attention. Somebody else determined that the details get in the way of our true happiness. Which is it?
In my opinion, it's both. Details are important. In order to succeed at anything in life, we must fine tune our approaches until we find what is most effective. To do this, we take note of the details. When looking at the success of marriages, businesses, individuals, and organizations, you see that the best of anything comes from those who put the most effort into focusing on the relevent details.
Where does the devil come into it, you might be thinking? I would suggest that the devil is in those details that arise before we've made our decision to act. Many times in life we have dreams that would be fulfilling, but as we start to look at what it might take to achieve those dreams, we become discouraged and put them on the shelf. How sad! Even in relationships, we might hesitate to cultivate a connection with someone we should because there are some details that keep us at a distance.
My verdict? Details are important. The details determine success or failure. The details are largely in our control. We can make them work to our advantage if we approach them in a responsible, diligent, and proactive manner. (The flipside is also applicable) It is through the details that we realize the dreams that bring us the greatest joy. We can't confuse the details of success with the details that derail dreams, though. When you know something is right in your heart, it's important to act on that knowledge, regardless of the challenges ahead.
The right choice is not always the easiest choice, but it still might be just the thing you need in your life.