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The Domino Effect of Change

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I recently saw an interesting video that reminded me of an important lesson that I want to share with you today.

Before you read the rest of this post where I reveal my takeaway and lesson, make sure you watch this 2m video:


Okay, I’m going to assume you’ve watched the video. I’m serious – watch it before you read on. Otherwise the rest of this post won’t make sense.


So what you just saw is how a tiny domino started a chain reaction that pushed over a domino that was 1000x larger. As soon as the smallest domino tipped over, it pushed the next one (1.5x larger) over, that one pushed another domino that was 1.5x larger over, and so on.

Eventually that momentum was so strong that it pushed over that big domino at the end that is 1000x larger than the first domino.

What’s the lesson here?

Start small and use that momentum to make bigger changes in your life.

The key is to keep that momentum going. When you kill momentum, you have to start all over again and that takes a lot of energy (or motivation) that we don’t always have. That’s why it’s important that once you commit, you keep going no matter what – even if you just did something small.

Over time all these little changes add up to something big.

To put it another way – becoming more productive and successful boils down to doing the little things consistently every day.

Today you are better compared to yesterday – even if it was just 0.1%. Tomorrow, you will be better than you are today – even if it’s just 0.0001%.

Do this enough times and the momentum is in your favor where it will move mountains.

Remember, it all started with a tiny bit of change.

So how can you apply this to your life? Let me give you a couple examples:

  • Are you not exercising at the moment? Start with just walking for 5 minutes.
  • Are you overwhelmed and paralyzed by email? Just commit to emptying your inbox for 10 minutes and call it quits after that.
  • Are you procrastinating right now? Set a timer for just 3 minutes and do just one tiny thing that you’re procrastinating on.

Big changes start with small changes. No matter how simple or easy the first step might seem, take it. It’s the start of something big.

(When you have that gut reaction of “that first steps seems pointless” – that’s a HUGE INDICATOR that you must take the first step. That voice in your head is holding you back right now.)

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Posted by Alex  | November 13, 2017 at 12:09AM | Reply

Brilliant summary of how to challenge life in the simplest way…

Posted by Tampson Ncoma  | August 26, 2016 at 7:13AM | Reply

My life has always been wanting to do this and doing that but never really got to actually doing anything at all. Until this year when I summoned the little strength I have to eventually start something (to study) like I always wished to do. Procrastination is still hounding me even today still, I delay assignment and projects but I’m still trying to fulfil the need to complete that scholarly void. I know now (today) that it is your approach in life that makes you think that it is okay to leave something for the next time but if you tell yourself to do it now and you look at what you’ve achieve you’d be amazed as to are capable of doing if you manage your attitude and time right.

Posted by Taylor  | October 18, 2015 at 9:42AM | Reply

I’m going to try just waking up at 6:30 regularly. I’ve been trying to plan out my entire morning routine at once instead of building habits, and I’ve consistently failed. I think that just waking up and then building habit by habit from there will be more successful.

Posted by justin  | June 20, 2015 at 1:26PM | Reply

Great advice :D Gonna apply it right away.

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