In our February 4th2019 Memo, we discussed the most dependable and effective personal growth factor–the key to the big is small. Take small steps that are Too Small to Fail.
Rather than the classic reductive language… yeah, yeah, I know blah, blah….and quickly move on returning to the same things that get us nowhere, let’s pause and look a little deeper.
We celebrated our daughter’s 22nd birthday this month and friends and family were astonished. I can’t believe how grown up she is? How did that happen?
Well, looking back it was small productive activities over time. The small feeding, nurturing, cultivating–too small to fail steps that led to a big beautiful outcome.
We can use the same process to trigger our growth, to move out of non-productive patterns or develop new habits. Start by taking the tiniest of steps right now, today.
- If you want to be a better parent, family member, coach or helper, start by refraining from talking and listen, just listen.
I recently read an interview with retired Army General Stanley McChrystal. He was talking about who he admired and who made a difference in his life. He said he was always impressed with Secretary of Defense and former White House Chief of Staff, Leon Panetta. McChrystal said, “he always listened.” So there it is. The big U.S. Government, probably the world’s largest employer, and what makes a difference with the top brass? Something as small as listening.
- If you want to be a better manager, a better colleague, peer or just a better person, say thank you.
I read several sources that said Steve Jobs soared to success in spite of himself and Bill gates learned to stop saying, “that’s the stupidest idea I ever heard.” I see this in my work as a coach too. We all have room for a little improvement. Saying thank you helps us stay humble and keeps people appreciating our contribution.
- If you want to receive more good, give more.
Smile. There is overwhelming research on this one small improvement. Smiling makes you look younger, thinner; it elevates your mood. It’s contagious. When you smile you attract more conversation and interaction. Then you can listen more and say thank you more. You start it all with one little thing and it builds into infinity…You could say, one percent infinity (1%∞).
The 1% is the improvement you’ve made and (∞) represents your infinite, sky is the limit potential to continually improve.
Prevent the resistance and rejection of big and scary intimidating steps by starting with steps too small to fail.
Self-improvement is a tender area. It’s scary. Make your first efforts too small to fail.