Eyes on the Prize

Every little thing we do is magic.

John Cousins


Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

A powerful inflection point in my life came when I became aware of the micro-decisions and tiny choices I was constantly making. I started to realize that small course corrections and direction changes lead to entirely different places over time.

I stopped thinking like a catepillar and more like a butterfly. We may be worms, but we can be glow worms.

The small moments and what we decide to do with them transform us over the long haul.

Every minute of one’s life, one is either developing or diminishing.

“Each person’s task in life is to become an increasingly better person.” — Leo Tolstoy

We frequently believe that tremendous accomplishment demands massive action. However, if we improve by 1% every day, we will be 37 times better at the end of the year, and if we decline by 1% per day, we will end up approaching zero. This cumulative effect is the Magic of Compounding. Compounding works in finance, and it works with human behavior.

There is a fascinating article in the latest Sports Illustrated about Cooper Kupp and how he focused on small body mechanics and awareness to become a major force in the NFL.

A year is too short-term to visualize as reaching goals. I realized that if I thought of a year as the time horizon for accomplishment, I thought and imagined too small.

We overestimate what we can accomplish in a year while underestimating what we can achieve in a decade.

When we don’t see the fruits of our efforts immediately, we risk falling back into old habits. But to truly forecast where we’ll end up, we need to appreciate how our everyday decisions will compound a decade or two down the road — eyes on the prize.

Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

“Many mickles form a muckle” was one of George Washington’s favorite sayings. It illustrates a universal truth: things pile up. And it is much easier to be mindful and take tiny steps in the direction we want to go. Looking back on his life, Zeno…