Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu
Yes. But this requires stepping out of the comfort zone and doing things which we have not yet done. ‘Doing the same things in same way over and over again and expecting different results is the biggest insanity’, said Einstein. But doing different things or even doing the same things differently is painful and scary for many of us. Well, here is the good news, we do not necessarily need to kick start and fly to win the race. You can become stunningly successful and that too without revolutionizing your way of thinking, behaving and doing. Let me ask you a question – What is the best way to boil a frog?
Put a live frog in boiling water. Right? No. The frog will jump out of the boiling water. The best way to boil a frog is to put it in moderately warm water and then very slowly turn on the temperature. The frog will do nothing to resist the change in temperature. It will slowly get used to the heat and end up as a fully boiled frog dish! Yes, this is a cruel story but a true description of the process of change. Millions of people become slave to smoking, drinking and other vices just like the frog. They start doing things for instant gratification and feel warm and cozy doing those things. Then they gradually increase the share of their clock, wallet, heart and mind spent on these and end up being a slave to the enemy and dance before them even at their own loss. Let me tell you a fact, the same (yes, the same) process holds true for building good habits, great character and beautiful life. It must be a step by step process. Slow and steady can too, win the race. Strategy consultants call it organic growth. We can’t take ourselves out of the comfort zone in a blink of an eye neither it is required.
After reading biographies of many successful people of the world, I've found that lasting personal change does not require you to turn your life upside down. The best way to get to your greatness is through small, continuous steps. Japanese call it Kaizen which means improvement by continuous small steps. If you get up at 7 am in the morning and start getting up just 2 minutes early everyday and keep on doing this for next 3 months. Guess what? After 3 months you will be getting up at 4 am and if you start investing this time in the mastery of most critical success factors in your work or life- you will definitely be on peak very soon. Regularity of actions builds momentum.
Consider another example, if you start going for a walk, start with just 500 mtrs and increase it by 500 mtrs every week. After two months you will be walking 5 kms everyday. Result of the things you do on regular basis has the benefit of world’s most powerful force – force of compounding.
Perhaps you can find the best example (yes, the best example) of great success through small, tiny, baby steps is the greatest bollywood movie of all times ‘Shawshank Redeption’.
Slow and steady always wins the race, if the direction is right. So, design a blueprint for your success and then keep walking the small baby steps. Courage has a magic and power in it. Start marching towards realizing your dream career, relationships, health and financial wealth which you deserve so well. But remember; don’t bite off more than you can chew.