The Secret to Growth: Start Small and Keep Going
I recently visited a park in my neighbourhood where, four years ago, I rehearsed a speech in front of a group of trees. The trees, which were about five feet tall at the time, were arranged as an evenly distributed audience. They were such attentive listeners!
When I returned to this park, I was in shock. The trees were now about twenty feet tall and about twice as wide. What was I expecting? That the trees’ growth would stagnate while I’d left them without any inspirational messages?
Appreciate that slow and steady progress is still progress.
I was impressed with the trees’ size. With a steady, non-rushed, consistent effort, they had made huge growth gains over the past four years. What about my growth? While I’ve made some gains since I’d last stood before them, I felt that my growth paled in comparison. I envied the trees. I also appreciated the message they were trying to tell me.
To achieve your goals, you need two things: Start. And keep going.
Shouldn’t it be obvious that in order to make gains in our lives, we only need to start and keep going? Yet the simplicity of this strategy deserves mention, because it’s during times of our being afraid to start, self-doubt or feeling overwhelmed that we can benefit from the simple reminder that our persistence will pay off.
Don’t underestimate the value of incremental effort.
How many times have you looked back on how far you’ve come, only to be surprised that you’ve made it to where you are now? That speaks to our stealthy, incremental efforts. In their modest manner, they sneak up on us to build something spectacular. Bit by bit, just as trees grow, small actions compound to create something significant. Trust your persistence. What small step toward your goal will you take today? And tomorrow?