Thinking Small

Thinking “small” is a topic that is recurring in the literature lately. The idea is to take small steps in a positive direction with the concept of having those steps accumulate into something significant.

Recently, I shared about a podcast with pro quarterback Tom Brady which introduced the concept of making choices and creating habits which contribute to a long record of success and built competence.  It’s obvious from listening to Brady is the way he has achieved greatness is not so much from physical talent and ability.  It’s more about putting practices to work consistently and constantly which are completely focused on his goal of being a winning quarterback.  It isn’t a complicated process. What makes him unique is that he has done it so persistently  for a long period of time.

Now, I’ve heard another podcast that supports this idea.  The podcast is entitled Thinking Small on Freakanomics Radio.  It features a book called Thinking Small written by Owain Service.  In his book, he says big achievements are simple to explain.  Challenging to do.  But, you don’t have to be a genius to understand the process.

Follow along:

  1. Set a goal. It seems simple enough but, if we are honest, many of us have more wishes than goals.  Specific targets which we are intending to hit.
  2. Make a plan.  What is the method you intend to follow.
  3. Make a commitment.  Write it up.  Make it public.  Get someone to be your “Commitment referee” to help you be accountable.
  4. Build in rewards along the way to give you incentive to follow your plan.  Some people use money incentives.  Others use disincentives which cause negative results if you fall short.  Incentives help.
  5. Ask for help and tap into your group to help you perform.
  6. Obtaining actionable feedback that helps you get better with the process of achieving the goal.
  7. Making it stick, Become a habit.  Become second nature.  Stick comes when you build a competency that becomes part of who you are.

There is something to doing small, constructive  things repeatedly to gain good results.  There is also something to not doing constructive things and getting nowhere.  I’m going to work on getting better at doing more constructive things.