To Achieve BIG, Think Small
At first pass, this title may seem contrary to what we believe about success. Likely, we have been told that achievement is a result of having lofty goals. While I agree that we should all have big dreams, it is important to remember that it is the small steps that make them come true. Tim Ferris, in his new book Tools of Titans, puts it this way, “Big changes can come in small packages. It is the small things done consistently that are the big things.”
When I began playing tennis, my ultimate dream was that someday I could play professional tennis. However, I quickly learned that my first match wasn’t going to be on Center Court at Wimbledon. If I was going to reach my full potential it was going to happen point by point or day by day. This realization helped me understand that most big achievements happen by thinking small.
1) Watch your Words.
We all experience times when our thoughts drive behavior, and behavior determines results. The first step to getting better is thinking better about you. As a person with a disability, I have faced episodes of bullying. However, I’ve found that what ultimately leads to discouragement and self-doubt can most often be our inner-bully. If you are beating yourself with negative self-talk, pause and ask, “Would you ever treat another person that way?” Decide today, that the words you will use in your inner dialogue will be kind, supportive and encouraging. Become your own best encourager!
2) Look for the Good.
When I was younger my family had a saying, “You don’t live in pity city.” This meant, stop complaining, count your blessings and be grateful for the amazing opportunities in your life. The fastest way to move from feeling like a victim to becoming a victor is to practice gratitude. Remember, no matter what your circumstance, there are many people who would trade places with you in a minute if given the chance. Make it a habit of celebrating the good in your life, and embrace the attitude of gratitude.
3) Take Action Today.
Peak performers see the tremendous value of each day and have a sense of urgency. They approach each 24-hour period as significant and filled with promise. As a result, they don’t wait around for spontaneous inspiration. I recently heard this quote, “In life, we don’t have instant replays or reruns, but we do have the today show.” So, as you think of your big dreams tomorrow, take those very important small steps today in making them come true.
Bottom line: If you want to accomplish the big stuff, you have to do the small stuff every day.