In Action, Change, Focus

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.  The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John Maxwell

When we read about changes throughout history, it’s usually something huge.  Somebody invented the automobile, somebody found a cure for polio, etc.  Big, giant, huge, immediately world-altering stuff.  Some incredibly impactful thing that touches millions of people or more seems to appear overnight, and the world changes forever.

In reality, change doesn’t usually happen like that.  Things that seem like overnight sensations are almost always the result of years of effort and struggle and temporary failure.  What looks like a giant change is actually the end result of dozens – or hundreds – of small changes that all had to happen before the giant change became visible.

Unfortunately, we tend to forget that.  Too many people spend their lives looking for that one enormous change that’s going to suddenly fix all their problems, or immediately propel them to whatever their vision of success looks like.  And most of those people end up being disappointed.

Actual change, whether in our lives or our careers or the businesses we lead, is rarely giant and sudden.  It almost always starts with changing some small, regularly recurring thing we do.  We start changing our habits, one at a time, and slowly – sometimes very slowly – larger things start to change.  It doesn’t seem as exciting early on, and if we’re not careful we don’t even recognize it.  But it happens.

Think about a piece of your career or your role or your life that isn’t what you want it to be.  Not necessarily something that’s terrible, just something that you want to be different.  Instead of looking at that thing as this large, probably overwhelming, thing you want to change, think about it in pieces.  What are the small things that have to change to add up to the big things?

When you identify those small things, don’t try to change every single one of them at once.  Start with just a few, or maybe even just one.  Think about exactly what that one thing needs to look like for your big change to happen, and then focus on doing that.  When you’ve got that habit or behavior or thought process or whatever changed into what it needs to be, move on to the next one.

Quite often, we get overwhelmed by change because all we see is the end result, and it seems so far away.  We do need to know what end we want, but our day to day focus needs to be on the small stuff.  Dream big, start small, make change.

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