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The Detectorists

A few months ago, I shared a blog post on hope. You may remember a song suggested in that post by Johnny Flynn from a tv show called The Detectorists. This poignant and touching show

provides the viewer with the opportunity to bask in its quiet, simple and thoughtful tales of life, love and treasure.

Each episode opens with the shows signature characters Lance and Andy wandering down the open, green field of the English countryside with the camera panning the vast, blue sky. They pale into insignificance both by their small size compared to the vast landscape, and also by what they are carrying…. their metal detectors. Although the world is so big around them, their all engrossing hobby seems to act as a buffer from the problems that face them; Andy’s loss of career direction and Lance’s loneliness.

Andy and Lance are constantly in search of treasure throughout the shows three seasons but the real heart of this show, is its ability to notice and celebrate the small things in the journey of life.

Often, the viewer will be shown the undiscovered treasures that lay beneath the earth that leaves you willing Andy and Lance to find it straight away, but at the same time, it is enjoyable to see them take pleasure in the journey it takes to get them to their goal. Including the small finds of a Tizer can ring pull circa 1983, buttons and odd bits of scrap metal.

The beautiful simplicity of this show is a reminder of how important it is to take time to enjoy the simple things in life. So how can we do that?

Let’s look at why noticing and enjoying the small things is important. Firstly, it can be a great reminder of your skills and talents. If a work colleague compliments your work towards a project, it can motivate us to push towards our goals. Studies have shown that when we stop and take notice of the good things that have taken place, it can help increase our resilience and help us to manage stressful times more effectively.

Secondly, it offers a much-needed contrast from the difficulties and trials in life. We often focus on the things left undone, or the negative evaluations of what has gone before. If we only hold out for the big wins we’re likely to end up lacking balance.

To find the little wins, perhaps try asking yourself “What are you most proud of today?” “What have you achieved?” “What good things have people commented to you today?” “Did you handle a particular tough work situation well?”

Doing this can help give us optimism and balance.

Next, celebrate it. Do something nice for yourself, eat your favourite food or listen to your favourite song. Take the time to create meaning in these small things as it can help you remember how awesome you are, even when you don’t feel like it on some days.

Never underestimate the power of small wins. Andy and Lance never did. They found fun in whatever odd object they uncovered from the earth, whether it was an old toy car, a national cycling proficiency trophy or actual gold. Life can be hard. Not all wins need to be big and taking the time to celebrate the little things can boost your confidence and resilience.

We need to make sure we stay aware of all the wins of life, or we miss out celebrating so many small victories. As Lance said so well, “not all treasure in life is silver and gold”.


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