Big Things Start With Small Actions
Jeff Bezos said, “The biggest oak starts from an acorn, and if you want to do anything new, you’ve got to be willing to let that acorn grow into a little sapling and then finally into a small tree, and maybe one day it will be a big business on its own. We know that big things start small.” Since he has launched numerous firms since 1995, Jeff Bezos is familiar with the concept of starting small. He has had some successes and some failures. He is the owner of more than sixteen profitable businesses, including The Washington Post, his rocket company Blue Origin, Whole Foods, IMDb, Goodreads, Twitch, Audible, and several others.
It might be challenging to try to make significant changes in your life. It can be even more challenging for us to handle it all at once. There isn't enough diving gear to keep you breathing and your head above the metaphorical water, and just thinking about completing it all might make your head spin. So how do we deal with these significant changes without becoming overwhelmed and focused on them at once? Well, the answer to this lies in a riddle: What’s the best way to eat an elephant?
You may be perplexed; why would this riddle show you the importance of small actions and how they can change your life? Or you may already know the answer to this riddle, which, if taken at face value, is a cliched joke…What’s the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
Think of the elephant as your goals: you want to study for the upcoming exam, you want to make a job change, you want to earn a million dollars etc… How do you tackle all these goals? It’s simple, we do it “one bite at a time”, by starting with micro-habits. While having large dreams is wonderful, the best approach to making them come true is to start small by developing tiny, manageable habits. Smaller parts of a bigger habit are known as micro habits. Micro habits enable you to accomplish big goals by dividing them into smaller, more manageable tasks that you develop over a lengthy period.
For example, if you want to start your workout journey tomorrow, start by laying out your gym clothes the night before. Seeing the gym clothes in the morning will be a trigger for you to get into them and go to the gym since you already laid them out the night before. Once you get to the gym, start by just being at the gym for 10 minutes. Eventually, you will notice that you’ve started to be at the gym for longer periods just because you built the micro-habit of laying out your clothes the night before. By building micro-habits and starting small, impossible goals become easily attainable.
Transformation through little habits is not a novel concept; in the past, others have talked and written about it. But putting ideas into practice is still difficult. We are trained to think big instead of acting small, and we are rewarded for this. We talk ourselves out of doing them at first because we can feel ridiculous doing something so small and it might not seem useful to spend any time on it.
It's more difficult than we would think to incorporate even a small change into our daily habits. It's doubtful that you would undergo a significant behaviour change overnight; if you were going to, you would have done so long ago. However, we frequently underrate our resistance to smaller changes as well. Any modifications to our routines and ingrained behaviours are challenging. Long-term patience can be challenging. When things are not going your way, it can be difficult to maintain your composure and avoid panicking. Keeping to the script is difficult. But success in life is a marathon, not a sprint.
You open yourself up to so much more when you begin to view your life and your goals with fewer absolutes or all-or-nothing thinking. You'll be better equipped to recognize possibilities, and your increased self-awareness will keep you motivated. Being adaptable is essential to reaching any objective we set for ourselves. Nothing ever proceeds as we anticipate; something always takes a turn for the unexpected.
Everything big has to begin small. When Amazon first started, the entire staff could fit in a small conference room. Starting something new is challenging, but the size of your habit does not prevent you from developing it. Jumping in with both feet at a significant objective when trying to modify behaviour is frequently a waste of time. Make little, gradual changes as an alternative until they get ingrained in your muscle memory. Starting small will allow you to achieve large achievements. So next time you think a task is too big or too daunting, just keep in mind: Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.