Imagine what life would be like if you
began each day with small actions
that created a chain reaction of positive benefits throughout your
You eat a healthy breakfast, have a
great conversation with your loved ones, and then begin your workday focusing on
the important tasks. Then, throughout the day, you complete other habits that
positively impact your top goals. I guarantee you’d feel more fulfilled, get
more accomplished, and have a better direction for your career.
All of this can be possible when you
focus on small actions that relate to your important
These habits don’t require much effort.
In fact, most only take five
minutes or less to complete. But they have a
powerful compounding effect if you repeat them often enough. This can include
making a healthy drink, writing a loving message to a loved one, or identifying
three important tasks to work on first thing in the morning. Do any of these
repeatedly and you’ll notice a vast improvement in your health, relationships,
and work productivity.
Think of what your life would be like
if your entire day was filled with these small actions. Wouldn’t your life
improve without a whole lot of
effort? I bet it would!
A Five-Minute Exercise to Transform Your
It’s easy to disregard the power of
small actions. You might think that a simple task can’t make a difference in
your life. If you feel this way, then I challenge you to complete a simple
exercise that, coincidentally, only requires five minutes of your
Right now, there is someone in your
life who you love with all your heart. This could be a spouse, romantic partner,
parent, child, or close friend. He or she means the world to you, but maybe you
haven’t said that lately. Right now (or sometime today), I want you to
tell this person that you love
The method for doing this is up to you.
It could be on the phone, in person, or through a short note. Heck, you could
even send a text message if you’re shy about how this message will be received.
Simply tell this person, in a few sentences, how much he or she means to
I’m serious here.
Stop reading this book
right now and talk to that special someone in your life!
I’ll wait for you …
Okay, you’re back!
So, what was it like to express your
feelings to someone you love? I imagine it felt pretty awesome!
How long did it take to complete this
simple exercise? A few minutes or so? Or was it maybe longer because the
conversation started flowing?
Now, think about what life would be
like if this were a daily habit. You could repeat this action for every
important person in your life, sending them thoughtful messages full of warmth
The method you choose for expressing
these feelings is irrelevant. It could be a phone call, handwritten message,
Post-it note, text message, or eCard if this person lives far away. The only
important thing is to do it!
Consider how this would positively
impact your relationships. The people you care for would start their days
hearing loving messages. You would start your day
knowing that you’ve brightened the day of someone important.
All of this is possible when you add
small actions to your day.
Small Actions Create Success
We’ve all heard that story of the
overnight success. This is the story of the musician who records a
double-platinum debut album, or the startup CEO who sells his company for a
billion dollars, or the average Joe who hits the multimillion-dollar lottery
jackpot. Our society loves stories about ordinary people who achieve amazing
results with seemingly very little effort.
Unfortunately, the story of the
overnight success is nothing more than a myth. For every person who strikes it
rich, there are thousands of folks who
languish in obscurity.
The cause of all this is the belief that success is an
event. That you can transition from
“zero to hero” without a lot of effort. That you can start as a nobody, get
discovered by the right person who notices your unique talent, and suddenly
skyrocket up the ranks of the rich and famous.
Unfortunately, this story of the
overnight success rarely happens in real life.
If you took the time to talk to any
successful person, she would tell you that success is always a process.
It’s a daily slog where most of your time is spent doing the same thing over and
over. Rinse and repeat. Day in and day out. A few wins along the way, and then a
few setbacks. Eventually, by working hard, and often for many, many years, you’ll become successful.
That’s the reality of success. It’s not
luck or an event—just a lot of hard work and daily action.
Or, to borrow a famous quote that’s
commonly attributed to Thomas Jefferson:
“I’m a great believer
in luck. The harder I work, the more luck I have.”
The people who succeed in the game of
life understand the important power of small actions. They flourish by doing two
critical things well:
• Identifying the most
important activities (or habits) related to their
• Repeating these activities