Baby Steps!

Late last year, I wrote a blog post titled,”Success vs. Mediocrity“, where I mentioned a finding that I came across while listening to Earl Nightingale tapes.

In one of his recordings, Mr. Nightingale shared that the measurable difference between a man or woman of achievement and success, in contrast to a man or woman of mediocrity, is only 2%.

Ever since I heard that recording, this finding has been an interest and is irrevocably stuck in my brain.

This measurable 2% difference confronts the ideal that the individual of achievement and success has done things significantly different in order to be successful.

After quite a bit of internal deliberation, I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Nightingale.

Let me explain.

An individual who has made notable achievements and is labeled as successful, did not accomplish this type of notoriety overnight. In retrospect, they’ve gained their regard through a series of small decisions and commitments, mixed with consistency over a long period of time.

Baby-Steps-ArrowIn other words, they took baby steps.

By staying committed to these baby steps, this person has been put on a course or path that is significantly different from the average person.

I believe many of us have the misperception that greatness happens with a significant amount of effort. As a result, we see large barriers and walls that block the view of our dreams and goals.

A portion of this belief is true. Greatness does take effort. However, this effort is not always in the form of a bulldozer or a construction wrecking ball that can knock down every barrier and obstacle in the way.

This effort can be small. Just a few baby steps…over time…consistently executed.

How much damage can a small hammer do to a thick wall?
Depends right?

If you hammer in lots of different areas, all you get is a tired body and a thick wall that is unfazed. But, what if you used that small hammer in the same spot…consistently…for 20 years?

You just might have a breakthrough!

Could it be that success is really just the execution of small baby steps with a fanatic consistency?

In last week’s post:
How to go from motivation and inspiration into ACTION!” I mentioned Chip and Dan Heath‘s advice in their book “Switch: How To Change Things When Change is Hard“. They suggested that you shrink your change.

I suppose another way to describe shrinking change is to say, take baby steps.

Thus, my questions for reflection this week are:

  • What change can you shrink?
  • What are the small baby steps that you can begin taking towards SUCCESS, today?
  • What would be the outcome of these baby steps, if executed consistently over the next 20 years?

“It takes twenty years to make an overnight success.” ~ Eddie Cantor

Adrien Brody got there a bit quicker, he’s quoted saying, “My dad told me, ‘It takes fifteen years to be an overnight success’, and it took me seventeen and a half years.”

My point is this, success does not come overnight. Success is the outcome of consistently performing the same behaviors in the direction of your dream. This is how I believe success is born.

If this is true, this would mean we ALL can be successful. So, what small baby steps will you start taking today to begin your progress?

What small baby steps will you take to initiate your 2% difference, that will make you far above average in the future?

You can be successful, and if all it takes is a few baby steps to get started, there is no excuse for being mediocre.

Take baby steps and stay inspired, it’s a lifestyle choice!
(Hint: A great baby step is subscribing to this blog.)

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