Little Wins

Today I had a conversation with one of my mentors and we discussed the problem of transforming others’ mindsets. It is really tough to change when you are on a negative streak and feel like you can’t go in the other direction. It seems like you’re going down, down, down. We all have these periods of our life. But how do you get out of them? Well, I believe the first step is to have little wins. Start off with small successes and they will compound.

What is a small success? One example is making your bed, which I have found very helpful. The psychologist Jordan Peterson recommends doing so in order to begin the habit of giving your life order. When you make your bed, you have just gotten one part of your life in order. No one can stop you. From there, you can expand. Maybe you get your house in order. Or your mind. Or, finally, maybe your entire life. But you cannot start there. Start small. Make your bed.

Of course, you don’t need to make your bed. It’s not life or death. Maybe you resent your parents’ past demands. But the point of small wins is to take control over your own life, your own destiny, one small step at a time. Whether that is flossing, going out for a short jog, or meditating 5 minutes, when you take a small action, big things start to occur. Think of your small wins as compound interest. If you improve 1% every day, in a year you will be miles ahead of where you are now (statistically speaking, you’ll be over 36 times further than you are now).

Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be growing evermore. But it all starts with the first step.


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