Little Achievements Create a Big Difference

It is the tiniest parts of life that can make the the biggest differences.  A chess player won’t overlook the necessity of its pawns and a sprinter knows the importance of a tenth of a second.

A moment is valuable. Some more then others, but if we start to chuck them out the window like worthless pennies, we will most definitely neglect some of the most worthwhile ones.

Life comes at us in waves.  Literally, giant, oceanic, swirling waves.  Heaps of water crashing down, each with different breaking points.

In the midst of all this chaos of crashing, it becomes increasingly difficult to hone in on a single molecule of water.  Each is part of a chain of events created by ripples and wind speed.  In the midst of a wave, it is tough to appreciate a single drop of water.  But it is the change in air pressure flickering across the individual molecules of water that gives birth to this massive swell – this unstoppable movement of change.

And so the culmination of these water molecules create something much bigger then itself.  The same principle can be applied to life.  Little achievements can make a big difference.  In fact little achievements are the path to a big difference.

Financial guru, Dave Ramsey, illustrates the power of small successes though an unprecedented debt-fighting technique.  While most financial consultants will take the obvious steps of paying out the highest interest debts first, Ramsey takes a different tactic, focusing in on other outstanding payments.

His game plan is simple, pay off the minimum payment on all outstanding debts and then put the rest of your money to paying off the smallest debt.  Ramsey completely disregards high-interest debts.  The idea being that you will quickly pay off the smallest loan and then move on to the next, and the next, creating a snowball effect of money being applied to the sequential debt payment.

You need quick wins to get you fired up.  Our brain responds to these positive outcomes, giving us signs of hope.  The timeless sports quote, “a win is a win,” could not be more true.  Our mind recognizes and is stimulated by these accomplishments, no matter the size.  They motivate us, rallying a mental effort preparing for the next positive feeling of a win.

Ramsey says, “If you pay $185 toward a $20,000 debt on a high interest credit card, you’re still going to feel hopeless. But if you completely pay off a $185 overdue utility bill, you can cross that off your list. You’ve won a small victory over debt.”

When we face overwhelming moments in life, those gigantic, crashing waves, we tend to avoid them.  A wave builds up and breaks down by instinct. It is its very nature.  Following this visceral pattern of mother nature, can aid in the accomplishment of extraordinary things.  Break down looming obstacles, build up legendary moments.  The tiniest actions, fit into our daily lives, stimulate positive emotions, and build a changing surge filled with the thrill of ecstasy, the power of legendary.

Are Your Investments Worthwhile

How many times have we uttered the phrase, “That was a waste of time.”   As good as our intentions may be, the outcome clearly did not pan out the way we wished it to.

Hours upon hours of time invested into something, and the result goes unnoticed.  Perhaps it’s trying to figure out how to use a new piece of seemingly cryptic technology. Maybe it’s an attempt at learning a new language.  It could be time spent exercising, consoling others, studying, reading, helping, conversing, or just showing some support, and yet nobody really seems to notice.

We tend to measure our investments based off the worth other people see in them.  But any experience you engage in runs deeper than the perception others create.

Walt Disney World is a wonderful example of this.  Described as a magical place, Disney has an atmosphere of sheer wonder and awe.  How did Disney come to be what it is?  Investments.  Many of which go unknown, but no doubt play a pivotal roll into creating this living fantasy.

There is an incredulous attention to detail at Disney.

Sign posts are repainted every night after closing so as not to appear worn or chipped.

Pictures and murals contain such detailed ambiguity that each time you look at one you’re bound to find something new.

Carousels are painted with gold paint.  No, not gold-colored paint, but 23-karat gold-leafed paint.

But why invest in things that 95% of the guests won’t even notice?  I seriously doubt kids can tell the difference between gold-leaf and gold colored paint.

It is Disney’s commitment to their guests, letting them know that they go all out in everything they do.  And even if the guests don’t notice the employees certainly do.  Passion is contagious and so the commitment to excellence certainly catches on.

And so a good amount of the efforts that contribute to Disney’s greatness go unnoticed.  But unnoticed does not mean unworthy.  All those hidden details contribute to Disney’s unmatched reputation.

The same idea can be applied to each and every one of us.  We may not see direct results and our actions may go unnoticed, but like the freshly painted signs and ambiguous illustrations of Disney World, everything culminates into the essence of the whole.

Every action you take shapes who you are.  And so even if you have spent countless hours investing your time without being recognized for it, its okay, it is all part of the fantastical character of you.  And that is what get’s noticed.

Some people would view a golden painted carousel as idiotic and a waste of money. But those horses and chariots were painted gold because of the belief of Disney’s passion for excellence and commitment to it’s guests.  To Disney, their guest are gold, they are the reason for it’s existence.

If everything you do creates the essence of who you are, then is there really any time wasted?  Unmeasurable and unnoticed does not mean misused.

So what are your gold painted carousels?  Do you think your actions develop character? What is something you thought to be a waste of time? Was it?