Big change comes in small steps.
By Torin Ellis
October 15th, 2018
Continuous improvement happens because of a dedication to making small changes every day, with the expectation that those small improvements will add up to something significant.
Often, when we try to make a lot of changes at once - and have high expectations of ourselves in that process - impatience creeps in, derailing our efforts and resulting in burnout, frustration, and failure. Hence the importance of “continuous”- steady requirement of slow and slight adjusting of one’s normal everyday behaviors and habits. For example, getting out of bed 15 minutes earlier every week, instead of trying to get up two hours earlier all at once.
I myself am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that success has something to do with your ability to generate options. You see, circumstances are nothing more than a presentation of previously made decisions. And the law that breaks circumstances are new circumstances: making decisions that give you better options down the line- no matter how small!
Here’s an example:
During the more than four years that Frederick Hutson spent incarcerated, he discovered how incredibly hard it was to stay in touch with loved ones. Friends and family couldn’t send digital photos from a smartphone to their loved one in prison. Instead, images had to be printed and mailed; a slow, tedious and often expensive process.
Instead of complaining, Hutson used his circumstantial experience to create new options for himself (and others) by founding Pigeonly- a company that cheaply and conveniently allows friends and family to get in touch with their incarcerated loved one. In 2016, Pigeonly’s revenue was just under $2 million and Hutson says about 40 percent of his employees are former inmates.
Hutson’s circumstances while incarcerated were a result of his previously made decisions…and so was his success. His successful company and employment of many former inmates are the direct results of the new options he created for himself and others through his decisions.
As we move into the end of the year, we might begin to lay out our plans for ourselves and our future. In this change of seasons, a concentration on levelling up — increasing your creativity and efficiency to another level — is a great use of your time.
So, where should you begin? Start small and work incrementally. Grab a notebook before the end of week and answer the following questions with relation to your job search, your current position, your desire to grow, dealing with a challenging peer or a less than supportive supervisor, requesting a raise, your work schedule, and/or your probation officer:
- Describe your challenge in detail.
- Are their additional people involved?
- Has this challenge been addressed or shared before?
- If so, what has changed (if anything)?
- What’s one thing you can do to make a shift?
This exercise is a great way to begin the final quarter of the year. By writing this down, it places you in a position to document your journey towards growth.
And remember, begin with small steps: getting up a bit earlier every day, sending out a couple job applications a week. Don’t put huge expectations on yourself to get your dream job this week! Make accessible, incremental steps towards your ultimate goal.
In time, this growth will become even louder and you’ll begin to see incredible results manifesting around you!
Far too many of us are preoccupied with the addiction of complacency, leaving them powerless to seek intervention or change. There is no manual for success, and there are no limits to what you can accomplish! It takes a dedication to knowing who you are, what you want and what you are willing to change to accomplish your goals.
Diversity Maverick and Strategist // SiriusXM Contributor // Published Author of Rip The Resume — Creative, high voltage, ready to pursue results.
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