Too often, we think all it takes is one huge moment. The grand slam home run. The 99-yard touchdown pass. The game-winning 3 pointer. Or for those that don’t like sports analogies: that one big best-seller / contract / investment / gig.
The crazy world of professional wrestling is built around this notion. Every legit pro-wrestler (paradox, I know) has a big, signature finishing move: the Rock-Bottom, the Stone Cold Stunner, the Figure-Four Leglock, the Hulk Hogan legdrop.
But most of the time, especially in everyday life, winning happens little-by-little. Overcoming obstacles occurs over the long-term.
It’s death by a thousand cuts.
Small islands of success lead to conquests. The extra mile goes way beyond just a mile. Small is the new big. When we fail to realize this, we start imagining stupid things:
- The 5-run homerun.
- The 14-point touchdown.
- The 5-point basketball shot.
- Or for those that don’t like sports analogies: the lotto ticket.
When people win the lotto and join the “set for life” club, they often end up worse than before they won. The reason is because they never established the little-by-little habits it took others to earn that kind of life in the first place. I’ve never won the lotto, but there does seem to be a disproportionate amount of lotto winners that end up bankrupt.
Someone was once asked what it was like to be an “overnight success.” They replied,
Well, it only took me 20 years to become an overnight success.
Stop looking for the lotto ticket, and start hacking the first of a thousand cuts. Maybe you won’t recoup your losses in one shot. You definitely won’t lose all that weight with just one workout. But the one thing you can do is keep cutting. Keep blogging. Keep learning. Keep showing up. Keep lifting. Keep going the extra mile. Eventually you’ll fell that tree. Eventually you’ll overcome that deficit. Eventually you’ll take that monster down.
Question: What can you do this week to take a small but meaningful step toward your goals?