This last weekend, my worlds collided.
I was sitting down with one of my mentors, and favorite copywriters, in Phoenix, Arizona.
He was telling me his approach to behavior-change: take small actions.
Want to write every day? Set a small goal: craft one sentence.
Want to lose weight? Create a tiny target: lose one pound.
It’s a beautiful way of working.
It also happens to be the core of the approach of my professor (and long-time collaborator), BJ Fogg.
BJ calls his approach “Tiny Habits“, and his favorite example involves flossing.
Want to get in the habit of flossing? Don’t tell yourself that you’ll floss every day. Instead, set the goal of flossing a single tooth each day.
After you’ve flossed one tooth, it’s likely you’re going to floss a second… and a third… and a fourth…
Lao Tzu said the same thing: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
When three people that you deeply admire tell you the same thing, you should listen.
No matter what you want to accomplish, you have to start with a single, simple action.
The question is: are you going to let that simple action excite you? Or are you only going to let yourself get riled up by the thought of some big, bodacious outcome?
Delighting in the process, in the small steps towards greatness is a sure way to success. Struggling in the pursuit of some distant goal? Not so much.
Think small. Win big.
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