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Imagine, if you will, a teenager who is on Summer vacation from school. The parents are away for the day, and the teenager sits at home all day. Mom and dad come home and asks their teen, “What have you done today?”. Well, that’s what I want to ask you. What have you done today, even in the smallest sense, to move yourself at least one step closer to that which you are trying to accomplish?
These steps do not have to be huge steps, but they can be smaller steps, as long as they are effective in moving us forward. This is great news because small steps are easier to plan, easier to take, while at the same time moving us forward!
Author James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits, makes the following statement about making these small steps forward, when he says “Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become”. You can learn more about James Clear’s work by >>>Clicking Here<<<.
This speaks not only of progressing toward the worthy goal of your choosing, but also casting a vote of “Yes” for the person you are becoming, though you are not yet that person. It’s as if to say, “Today, I vote for that person to be in charge of my life”.
I would highly recommend Atomic Habits. I’ve listened to it and have found it very helpful. If you would like to get your own physical or audio copy, and support our blog at the same time, you can do so by >>>Clicking Here<<<. Thank you in advance for supporting Next Level Living! We truly hope we’re adding value to your life!
Sometimes I believe we overestimate the need for large steps and we underestimate the effectiveness of smaller and more manageable steps. What I have found in my own life is that the smaller steps are both easier to take and give you more feeling of accomplishment than waiting to take larger steps.
Even one small step, or vote as Mr. Clear calls it, is something more than you did yesterday and it will move you closer to that which you are trying to accomplish or become. These steps can be in the form of reading a book for 10 minutes on a particular topic, doing 10 minutes of light exercise, writing a short blog post, or any other small action that moves you closer to your goal.
may will feel awkward at first but eventually, through repetition, they will become smoother, more frequent, and more normal. We do not have to know or take every step at once, but we must take the next step if we are to make progress.
Your Progress Encourages Others to Seek Progress
When speaking to one of my friends on the phone, who is also a fellow leader, creator, and mentor, I will eventually ask him, “So, what are you working on right now?”, and he’ll let me know what promotions he has going on or some event he’s preparing for or some new activity he has created and is trying. This is a form of iron sharpening iron that encourages me to keep pressing on in what I’m doing or to try new things, and his ideas may spark an idea to me. I like to think it does the same for him to some degree.
I share this story to bring out the effect it has on me when I hear about the things that he is trying or doing. It is not that I feel I need to do the exact same thing as much as it moves me to keep being creative and to take another step in my process!
The Compound Effect
Author Darren Hardy, in his book The Compound Effect, gives us a more comprehensive illustration of the effect of these small and seemingly insignificant decisions. Mr. Hardy defines the compound effect as “the strategy of reaping huge rewards from small, seemingly insignificant actions.”.
As of today, I have not yet listened to or read Darren’s book, but if you would like to get a physical or audio copy of it, you can do that by >>>Clicking Here<<<.
Bringing together Mr. Clear’s and Mr. Hardy’s advice, I’ll ask my initial question again. What have you done today, even in the smallest sense, to move yourself at least one step closer to that which you are trying to accomplish?
I hope now we can see that progress doesn’t have to be made in huge leaps that happen every so often, but progress is found in the smaller and more manageable steps that we can take every day. I believe when you and I take these steps, we will feel better because we know we are accomplishing progress toward our goal and we will be more empowered to take control over our current lives and our futures like never before!