Success is created, not found, so pay attention to the seemingly small and insignificant choices that you make on a daily basis — one step at a time
What is ‘overnight success’, and how do you get it?
Personally, I believe that there is no such thing as having overnight success. Rather, I believe that the small actions we take every day add up to the point where they eventually tip the scales to the big win. Put another way…
The compound effect of what we may perceive as our insignificant daily actions have the potential to add up to a big mountain of success.
Some of us are waiting for the big win — waiting for the book deal or waiting to get discovered. Or we look at other people’s success stories and assume they had it easy or got lucky. But that is rarely how success actually works.
Fortunately, there is a method to creating success — it is simply by showing up every day and putting in the work. This means being willing to trade instant gratification for the long-term, compound effect. You might not get recognition for showing up in small ways every day, but because you do that diligently, it adds up and eventually you will get to the big win.
Here is another truth: Big wins are made up of small wins and big fails are made up of small fails.
If you work out for 10 minutes every day, that will add up. If you have a bite of a cookie every day, that will also add up over time. Will you notice results the day after the action (or inaction)? Or even the week after? Probably not. But the compound effect of skipping the bite of the cookie or working out for 10 minutes every day for a year will be significant. These little insignificant daily choices might not seem important — what harm are you really doing if you skip something once or twice? But it is this series of small daily choices, especially the ones that go beyond our hunger for immediate award and recognition, that combine to help us start looking at our lives differently.
When you take a snapshot of your day and evaluate all the choices you’ve made, what would the compounded result be if you were to make those same choices every day? If your brain tells you that the choices that you made today are insignificant, consider the impact when you multiply it by 365.
What is the compound effect of your actions — positive or negative?
“I only check social media for ten minutes a day for a quick mental break.” No big deal… until you multiply that by 365. If you wrote one page daily for a full year, you’d have a 365-page book. But most people, if asked, would firmly state they have no time to write a book. And that’s true for choices you make regarding your health, your relationships, and everything else you do. Having a weekly date night with your partner, reading a story to your toddler before bed — it all adds up and it matters.
I believe one of the secrets to success is taking a small daily step and multiplying it over the course of 6 or 12 months. That’s how you really create what you want (or don’t want) to have in your life. Conversely, when you look at your day as if it doesn’t matter what you do because it’s too insignificant to make a difference, you miss out on the opportunity for that positive compound effect.
The most common analogy for this concept is compound interest with money. If you save $5 a day, it seems too insignificant to make a difference, but over several decades it will result in a substantial amount of savings.
The best part is that it isn’t linear. After a certain amount of time, there is a tipping point where the effect compounds so intensely that the result is far beyond the sum of each deposited action.
Just like the compound interest on money you invest is greater than the sum of money invested, and your money continues to grow with no further investment on your part.
There are rarely instant successes, but I invite you to look at your day and think about what you are creating with all your little decisions. What is the compound effect for you? Awareness is the first step, so start by tracking the choices you make every day. The hardest part is having patience for the long game and delaying the appeal of instant gratification. Willpower alone is not the answer because willpower is limited, so it gets depleted.
Success is built from the small choices that you make every day. Make yours wisely!
You may also enjoy reading Moonshot Magic: Declaring & Committing to Something Extraordinary by Amy Elizabeth Gordon