Got a Nickel?

I must skip backwards for a moment to blog about an important concept Joan shared on Wednesday morning’s session.

Joan gave each attendee a nickel and asked us to hold it in our hands. She told us about an important concept to learn in order to be able to reach your goals and to attain the kind of life you want to live and the career you want to have. She talked about Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine and the author of The Compound Effect.

Habits are an overwhelming part of each person’s life and work. We do a lot of things each day “on auto pilot” like the needle following the groove in a record (for those of you old enough to remember those!). Our habits can compound, sending our lives into disaster, but the slightest adjustments to our routines and habits can bring about great changes. “Baby steps” Joan called them. They are not about uprooting your whole life, selling your house, changing jobs. They are small steps that create huge change over time.

Joan talked about a plane flying across country from Los Angeles to New York City. If the nose of the plane is pointed only 1% off course (that seems like nothing, right?) it will ultimately end up off course, arriving 150 miles upstate in Albany or in Dover, Delaware.

One small habit may not look like much on the tarmac but it can prevent you from having the life you want and the goals you dream about from becoming reality!

Joan then told us to turn the nickel sideways. She said the width of the nickel was 2 millimeters, and it represented being just 1% off course. Such a small insignificant size – and yet even just that small percentage off track can be the difference between reaching our goals or living without realizing our potential.

Who would have thought that such a small insignificant amount “off” could have such a compounding effect on our total happiness and resulting productivity?

The takeaway is this: baby steps, as Joan calls them, create true lasting change and bring us closer to the life we want to lead. Small changes over time make our dreams come true. They open doors of opportunity at work and in relationships. Small changes make significant deposits of good in our lives.

Amazing principle, and I’m so glad Joan taught us about it!

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