Born To Win
Issue No 21
Born To Win
Issue No 21
Three Proven ways to Leverage The Big
Power Of Small Change
Quotes To Motivate
It really is exciting to bring out the 21st issue of ‘Born
To Win’. Imagine reaching out to over 600 highly talented people
interested in success in all areas of their lives. This is the
profile of our readers - dynamic, creative, tech savvy and moving up in
life,. and of course quality conscious. That motivates me to really
deliver the best possible. Keeps me on my toes too. You see I too am learning with every
From this month we are getting more
ambitious too and reaching out to an international audience. We have also
made format changes which I am sure is more pleasing and readable. Change
is a recurring theme in our newsletters, and that brings us to the lead article
of the month.
How many years of our life is wasted putting things off for tomorrow
because they seem too big to be handled today. We have the renowned
success scientist Dr. Stephen Kraus explaining how to leverage the power
of small changes to achieve big. It is amazing that such a powerful
concept has been explained so simply and wonderfully by Dr. Stephen Kraus.
So wishing you happy reading and of course I eagerly await your valuable
Three Proven Ways To Leverage
the Big Power of Small Changes
Stephen Kraus, Ph.D.
Successful people set ambitious goals. But
the high standards and lofty visions
necessary for great success can sometimes be daunting. You may want to run
a marathon, lose 50 pounds, or build a business empire, but you may quickly find
yourself overwhelmed if you mentally focus on such ambitious goals.
The result can be procrastination, or even
depression. Clinically depressed people often have goals that far exceed what
they feel they can really accomplish. As a result, they often get stuck in a
"paralysis of analysis" - finding themselves unable to initiate actions because
they feel they need new skills or more information.
Fortunately, there is a great power in
making small changes. Consider this sampling of findings from the research on
health and weight loss.
- Losing just a few pounds can have a
significant impact on your health,
even if you remain obese.
- Small amounts of exercise (as little as a
10 minute rapid walk) can significantly
boost your mood for several hours.
- Taking in just 150 fewer calories per
day, about that found in one can of sugared soda, would lead to a loss of 15
pounds in one year.
- Among older Americans, a very modest
weight lifting regimen can significantly reduce their risk of falls and
fractures, while increasing their ability to climb stairs or carry groceries.
Small changes have big impacts in other
areas of life as well. Want to write a book? Write a page a day, and you can be
an author within a year. An hour a day studying a new topic can lead to
considerable expertise in just a few months. Plastic surgeons bring about
dramatic changes in appearance with very small changes in facial structure. If
the space shuttle's trajectory is off by a fraction of a percent,
it can end up being hundreds of miles from
its destination. The list goes on.
So how do you leverage the big power of
small changes? Try these three techniques.
1. Revel in small changes. Instead of
beating yourself for not having accomplished your big goals, feel good about
small improvements. If you want to lose weight, start with small lifestyle
changes such as taking stairs instead of elevators, substituting a glass water
for one soda each day, waiting 20 minutes before deciding
you want "seconds" at dinner, or eating
just one more serving of vegetables each day. The ancient wisdom of the I
Ching states that the process of change should begin with the easy and the
simple. Two thousand years later, experts on psychological change concluded that
there are two crucial rules for shaping your
own behavior: "(1) you can never begin too
low, and (2) the steps upward can never be too small. When in doubt, begin at a
lower level or reduce the size of the steps."
2. Divide and conquer. Henry Ford said:
"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide
it into small jobs." Elite athletes, for
example, routinely set both long-term and
short-term goals, but sports psychologists
have discovered that repeatedly focusing on the long-term goals can be
counter-productive. Instead, focusing on the short-term goals, and the
small changes needed to achieve them, leads to more motivation, greater
confidence, enhanced performance, and more happiness, both for athletes and
Basketball coach Larry Brown, who is
currently leading the Detroit Pistons against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA
finals, typically starts each game by encouraging his team to "win the first
three minutes." He uses the same technique throughout the game, focusing his
team on near-term goals and the small changes needed for victory. Football
coaches often use a similar tactic, encouraging players to mentally consider the
16-game season as being comprised of four 4-game mini-seasons.
3. Schedule a time for small changes. Often
we simply don't make the time for the
small changes that can make big impacts. We
may (wrongly) consider them to be
inconsequential, or shy away from them
because they remind us of how far we are
from our more ambitious goals. Try
scheduling a time for these modest
behaviors, and sticking to it.
This technique is similar to "activity
scheduling" - a tactic commonly used as
one element of treating depression.
Depressed people are often reluctant to engage in activities, such as going to a
movie, even though they believe these activities will make them feel better.
Committing themselves in advance to engaging in these activities can
significantly boost their activity levels and their mood, helping to ensure they
make the small changes that have big impacts.
The findings and recommendations in this
article are based on scientific
research published in peer-reviewed
journals. For complete references,
see Psychological Foundations of Success: A
Separates the Science of Success from
Self-Help Snake Oil by Stephen
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Success Scientist Dr. Stephen Kraus
is author of Psychological Foundations of Success: A Harvard-Trained Scientist
Separates the Science of Success from Self-Help Snake Oil. Steve has a Ph.D.
in psychology from
Harvard University. To contact him or
subscribe to his REAL Science of Success
ezine, please visit
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