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I am sure you have heard the old joke about how to eat an elephant, and obviously the answer is “one bite at a time.”
It seems like many of the people and companies I work with lately seem to be looking for a quick win or faster gains. They are looking for the grand slam or home run instead of the singles and doubles of work and life. Intuitively we know that to achieve lasting success, more often than not there is a journey involved. We can even see the road or path that we will need to travel along in order to meet with success, and yet we still try to find a way to get there sooner, don’t we?
For some, it’s only about the destination and not the journey. For others, it’s about the experiences along the way that provides the most fun and satisfaction.
Zig Ziglar used to tell a few stories when trying to illustrate the point of making radical changes in small steps. And one of my favorite short stories he often shared was about how hurricanes, tornadoes and floods get all the attention but termites do more damage each year — proving that those radical changes can be made in very small bites.
We call it inching our way to success. As an example, if we want to lose weight sometimes we think we should be able to drop 10 or 20 pounds overnight. But for those who understand lasting success, they realize that the better approach is to focus on losing small amounts of weight over a period of time until the goal is reached.
Companies looking to increase revenue, and some people even saying they want to double revenues, one day understand that it is something that doesn’t happen overnight either. They recognize that in order to make those gains they must do some training of their staff, plan and prepare, improve processes that create efficiencies, and work from a strategic and tactical plan that can be executed against.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some things and events that happen where we get that big quick win or we realize a huge gain. And those wins and gains are awesome. But those events don’t happen every day, do they? As a matter of fact, they tend to happen less often or less frequently than we would prefer. So when we get our heart and head around the fact that true sustainable success comes as we do the small things consistently and take positive steps every day towards our goals and objectives, we recognize that when we are inching our way to success we are actually positioning ourselves for those bigger wins and gains that will happen over time.
How about you? Are you all about the destination and maybe the big win? Or are you more about the journey and a sustainable plan that will ultimately lead to your success? Either way, I would love to hear all about it at email@example.com, and as we inch our way to success, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.
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