“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” This is one of the famous quotes from Confucius. And the success principle within this line explains how anyone can achieve anything they want if they are willing to put in small and consistent effort. Here’s why starting small is the key to success.
You may have heard of the best-selling book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” written by Dale Carnegie. But do you know that the book started as a set of rules printed on a card no larger than a postcard?
Carnegie prepared a short talk where he called it ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ The short talk was well-received and was then evolved into a course. And he needed teaching materials for the course. And so, Carnegie wrote down the rules for his course on a card and delivered it to his fellow students.
And in the next season, he printed the rules on a larger card, then a leaflet, then a series of booklets, with each version expanding in size and scope.
After 15 years of teaching, research, and experimentation, he compiled his rules for his course and became the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. That was how the best-selling book was written. One step at a time.
Remember how Apple started? It began with Steve Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak launching their tech giant in Job’s garage. The same went for Amazon. Jeff Bezos and his team started Amazon selling only books. But Bezos had a big dream and today, Amazon is a multi billion-dollar company.
As you can see, everything started small. Every big success you have heard of started as a series of small steps.
Therefore, starting small is the key to success. Below are the 5 reasons why you want to commit to taking baby steps:
1. It takes less time and energy
It is always easier to start small. Think about it, do you think it is easier to write a 300-page book or it is easier to write just 1,000 words a day? Of course, the answer is obvious. And because it is easier to start small, your resistance to doing the work will be lowered. You don’t need too much motivation or willpower to get small things done.
This is why it is so vital to focus on small victories. If you do only 5 small things a day, you will have accomplished 5 small wins. In a week, you will have produced 35 little wins. In a month, you will have 150 small wins. And within a year, you will have accomplished 1,825 small victories.
Do you think these small victories will accumulate and make a huge impact on your life? You better they will.
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden
2. It prevents overwhelming
Another key reason for starting small is to prevent overwhelm. You see, one of the main reasons people procrastinate and put things off until a later time is because of the pain of doing the work.
They feel overwhelmed to do the work. They feel the pain. And hence, they choose to procrastinate and delay the work. However, when things are easy to do, you won’t feel overwhelmed by them. Again, it is easier to commit to writing just 1,000 words a day than to complete an entire 300-page book.
It is your psychology that is in play. When you look at the entire project, you feel like you need to spend a lot of time and energy to do it. But when you break down the project into small actionable steps, you can tackle one small step at a time.