When talking about concepts and principles in life, if you listen for bits of wisdom, you just might find that many of these are similar. I’ve found this encouraging that certain thoughts have been highlighted by various teachers and philosophers in different circumstances and at various times. Even the idea that ideas aren’t original for the most part, isn’t, well, original.

  • Dave Ramsey describes many of his financial teachings as “nothing new, just packaged well.”
  • It sounds like the saying, “Everything Old Is New Again.”
  • Solomon would also add that there’s nothing new under the sun.

So, I’m starting to wonder if that thought is even original with Solomon… see what I mean?

One of the things I want to accomplish is to collect these threads of inspiration and highlight the nuggets of brilliance that run through them all.

I want to start off with one I’ve entitled:

Little and Often

This concept has been seen in many places, some are very old – like the saying, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Taking a single step isn’t that amazing for most of us. But that simple act of taking a step repeated faithfully over time will transport you to your distant destination.

In the area of exercise, I’ve appreciated Matt Furey’s concept of starting with “5 second abs.” Do you whine that you don’t have time to exercise? You’d look pretty silly to say you don’t have time for 5 second abs. But then the idea is that if you start consistently doing 5 second abs, you’ll start to realize it doesn’t take that much more effort to do 10 or even 15 seconds of exercise. You get that going on a regular schedule and you can expand to maybe a whole minute of physical activity. The point is to start ridiculously small and build a habit, then expand on the area you’ve already conquered.

My favorite time management guru, Marc Forester, uses the concept of little and often to overcome procrastination. When you have a document to write, you just schedule some time to get out the files you need to write or research the document, or even to open up the word processor. That’s it. Don’t commit to more than that. More times than not, once you’ve gone that far you will have enough inertia to actually get started.

I’m sure there are many more examples and areas of application for this principle in life. Just one more. Jim Rohn would say that this principle is the difference between success and failure. Failure is defined by him as a few errors in judgment repeated everyday. This is the principle of little and often used to your detriment. Success, on the other hand, is a few simple disciplines practiced everyday. This is the reward of little and often, it leads to success.
A similar concept to this is ‘ratcheting.’ But we’ll stop here for today.

So share. What small disciplines are you considering – or better yet, have you started recently? Do you think this would make a difference? Start a new habit by subscribing to this blog. Take a small action little and often to take that thousand mile journey. Let’s set our sails together!