Small, seemingly insignificant things can have the biggest effects

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, look over the weather, jot down some notes, play a few quick 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. One sentence stood out to me, “We don’t get better by chance. We get better by change.”

One letter, a whole lot of difference. It got me thinking about how small, seemingly insignificant things can have the biggest effect.

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. Some 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. There are so many moments in my life where my life could have ended up so differently, but here I am.

A best-selling author and productivity coach. I study Karate and earned a black belt a few years ago – a childhood dream of mine. I’m also on the verge of getting a black belt in Aikdo. On top of that, I’m an amateur magician and dedicated father and husband. All because of the choices I’ve made.

I made the decision to read books on business and personal development. I decided to do Karate and Aikido. I studied magic and might even be able to amaze you with some tricks.

In other words, I CHANGED.

Too many people want things to change for them. Instead of acting, they wait. They hope. They may even visualize (which is the secret in 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 his videos, he asks the question, how long would you have to escape if, at 12pm, you were handcuffed to one of the very top bleachers of a baseball diamond and a single drop of water was placed on the pitcher’s mound which doubled in size every second? 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)
  • Flossing
  • Chunking (which I wrote about here)
  • Yoga for 20 minutes 3-4 days a week
  • Martial arts one hour a week
  • Eating well (thanks to my wife)

Forget about big changes, small changes are where the magic happens.