The other day I decided to check out a new ramen shop a friend recommended. There was a long line and I debated whether I should bother, but I figured I was always there so what the heck.
Thankfully, today we have our smartphones with us at all times, which means dead time (waiting in line time) doesn’t go to waste.
We check our messages, shoot off a few emails to friends, check the weather, jot down some notes, play a few games or, if you’re like me, you study.
I opened up the AV Player app on my phone and decided to go with a classic – Jim Rohn’s Challenge to Succeed.
So there I was, sitting in the store waiting to get inside and listening to Jim’s wisdom for the umpteeth time. This time round one sentence stood out to me, “We don’t get better by chance. We get better by change.”
One letter can make a whole lot of difference. It got me thinking about how small, insignificant changes can make the biggest differences in our lives.
I thought about my ex-students, my clients, my friends, my son and myself and how, at different times in our lives, we reached forks in the road. The choices we made, however small at the time, turned out to be much bigger than we ever thought possible.
Take myself, I never expected to meet the love of my life one summer day back in 2001 when a friend visited me. I never expected to find myself in the middle of a natural disaster on Dec. 26th, 2004 (FYI, this year marks the 10th anniversary of my second chance at life). There are so many moments in my life where my life could have ended up so differently, but here I am.
An entrepreneur, ex-teacher, high performance coach with a special interest in finance. I also study Karate and am just two belts away from reaching a childhood dream – a black belt. I’m an amateur magician. Besides all that, I’m a dedicated father and husband. All because of the choices I’ve made.
I made the decision to read books on success and finance. I decided to do Karate. I studied magic and can blow people away with some tricks.
In other words, I CHANGED.
Unfortunately, too many people want things to change for them, but do nothing about their circumstances. They wait. They hope. They may even visualize (which is the secret from the best selling book with the same name, The Secret). What they don’t do is change.
The simple fact is we can wait for things to change, or we can change. Either way, our situation will change. However, there is a big difference between the two. One we are in control of, the other is beyond our control. I’ll let you figure out which one is which.
If you’re in the market for a good book on the power of small, seemingly insignificant changes I suggest picking up the book, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. It’s a light read, but it will make you think about just how easy it can be to achieve your dreams.
Albert Einstein called compounding the 8th wonder of the world.
The best illustration of compounding I’ve ever heard of done by Chris Martenson of the Crash Course. In the video, he asks the question, how long would you have to escape if, at 12pm, you were handcuffed to one of the very top bleachers and a single drop of water was placed on the pitchers mound which would double in size every minute? The answer is in the video so be sure to check it out.
Everything in life compounds; positively and negatively.
Whether you eat properly or you don’t, in time the effects will be felt.
Here are a few seemingly insignificant things I do that have big effects long term.
- Reading 15 minutes a day (here are some books to get you started)
- Chunking (which I wrote about here)
- Yoga for 20 minutes 3-4 days a week
- Karate twice a week
- Swimming once a week
- Eating well (thanks to my wife)
What are you today for your better tomorrows?