We’re on the 13th day of our Taking Action program.
How do you make progress on what’s truly important?
A small step doesn’t get you very far. And generally we judge the value of the step based on distance. If your exercise today consisted of jumping rope one time (one revolution) you probably didn’t burn many calories or lose much weight. On that basis we tend to discount small steps. We want to take giant steps that allow us to move forward quickly in large leaps. With a Dorothy-esque click of the heels we hope to get from here to there, even when “there” is nowhere in sight.
The true value of small steps is often ignored. They involve motion. We go from not doing something to doing it – even in a minimal way. According to the laws of physics, we go from being a body at rest to being a body in motion. Here’s Newton’s First Law of Physics:
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by some outside force.
Sir Isaac Newton was one of the most extraordinary intellects of his time. And he realized that when an object is at rest it will basically stay at rest unless something influences it. It’s also true that when an object is in motion it will basically stay in motion. This is what we refer to as momentum. This is why small steps can be so valuable. They offer momentum at a fairly low cost. In other words, it takes very little effort to create momentum.
One pushup, one dish washed, one photo organized, one paragraph written in your novel-to-be. Have you gone very far? No. Do you now have momentum? Yes! And once you have momentum (you are in motion), you are more likely to continue – in motion.
from The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology by Gregg Krech