There’s a cartoon that shows two guys with pickaxes that are digging a tunnel to find diamonds. One of the guys has given up and has turned around, pickax thrown over his shoulder, and his head down.
He doesn’t realize that he is inches from breaking through, but we, the viewers, can see that he’s so close.
That’s how seeking success can be for us at times. We feel like we’ve put in enough time and effort and that we should be further than we are now. But what we might not know is that the breakthrough is about to arrive.
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I’m currently reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Jeff mentions how it’s the small, seemingly insignificant things that start to compound and build momentum in our lives. Sometimes, things we’ve done to get to where we are now can seem so unimportant and easy to do that we end up NOT doing them.
Just like how doing things right over time can start to build success, doing the wrong things or failing to stay consistent can cause us to backslide.
When we “skip a workout” or “have a cheat meal” more and more often, those little things start to build up. Then a year later, we wonder what the heck happened to our abs.
Travel back in time
A fun exercise is to look at memories either in your Instagram archive or Facebook memories to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished.
I see memories from a few years ago showing me doing things I cringe at now, like playing 4 hours of Xbox or being so drunk I didn’t remember the end of the night before.
I have come so incredibly far. I’ve gotten into real estate, I just passed my Texas real estate license exam, I’ve filed a patent, etc. I’ve stopped drinking almost entirely. I’ve started to wake up earlier. I like what I see!
Do you like the growth you see?
I’m hoping that you love the growth that you see. Now, if you look at your history and archive and notice that you are kind of stuck in the same place you were a few years ago, it might be time to set some goals and level up.
Sometimes, we feel like we’re doing all this work and that we’re just stuck in place with wheels spinning.
But realize the power of the slight edge. Like the continuous force water has to cut through rock and eventually become something like the Grand Canyon, the little things we do every day matter, and they matter a lot.
To borrow a few lines from the book:
What you do today matters.
What you do every day matters.
“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” – Bill Gates
Try the exercise I mentioned of looking back a year, or 5 years, or more if you can. Social media platforms make it easy to look back on memories, which is always neat.
Hopefully, you’ve come really far! If you’ve come a long way in the last few years, let that motivate you to set bigger, better goals and continue the momentum.
If you’re kind of in the same spot… it’s time to level up.
Maybe you need to get some new friends, reach up to people in places you want to be in. You might have to leave the party-goer friends behind, or minimize time spent with them.
Take massive action as always. And remember that you are closer to success than you think.
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