You often don’t know what a series of small steps can amount to. Buckminster Fuller, the visionary and architect, used the word “precession” to describe a series of small steps that lead to a surprising conclusion.
If you’ve been following along in these weekly happiness tips, you’ve been practicing happiness for over 16 weeks! You’ve been making just one little adjustment each week in how you think, how you act or in what you believe. If you have been practicing, you’re probably already at the stage where happiness is a significant part of your life.
The practice of focusing on the next step is one that I highlight in my book, Raise Your BAR. In fact, I focus on the next 3 steps. Why 3? Because sometimes you can be doing stuff simultaneously like writing in a gratitude journal while remembering to say thank-you when someone compliments you. At other times I’m waiting for something or someone else. Such as ordering a book off Amazon and waiting for it to arrive. You don’t have to wait to do the next step or one of the other 2 steps. That’s why I focus on 3. I also know that I can keep those 3 steps in my mind easily. Our brain likes to work in chunks of 3 (+/- 2). My next 3 steps are brain friendly.
You just have no idea what will come from you taking those small steps consistently. Darren Hardy from Success Magazine calls it the Compound Effect. If you eat a small chocolate cookie with your afternoon coffee everyday for a year, the compound effect will take it’s toll on your waistline. However, if you walk an extra mile each week for a year, you will also have an effect on your waistline – just in the opposite direction.
It’s these little choices we make, consistently, that make a HUGE impact on our lives. Sometimes this way of the world gets lost in our “instant gratification” society. It used to be that everyone understood this concept because everyone had some part in growing their own food. You till the land, you plant the seed, you nourish the seed, you wait, you pull the weeds, you wait some more, you nourish more and weed more, and you wait. After awhile, you have an abundant amount of food on the table. You might even save some for when the weather isn’t so great. Sometimes the birds steal your seeds, sometimes the wind blows them away, sometimes it’s too wet or too dry and nothing grows. So you start again. People used to understand the law of the seed. It’s never instant gratification. It takes work and patience.
If you work on your happiness challenges consistently, then your happiness set point will naturally rise. And you have to keep working on them until the work is unconscious and you just “are” happy for no reason. It goes from something you consciously do, to something you do by habit to something that happens automatically. And just like the seed, it takes work and patience.
Are you up for the challenge?
To your happiness,