Subject: Musing 08: Hitting grand slams in business
“Everybody wants to hit grand slams. Nobody wants to hit singles.”
I wrote down after analyzing the results of last year.
“But it’s the singles that make the grand slams possible… because rooted in every grand slam are seeds that only came to life after hitting singles.”
In other words…
Big wins don’t emerge from nothing.
They are the accumulation of a thousand and one small wins.
Small wins that seem insignificant.
Small wins that seem like they don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Small wins that don’t fill your heart with the juices of excitement.
Small wins that the external world doesn’t recognize…
Let alone notice.
But every time you stack a small win, you make a big win possible.
For every $10,000 day is a hundred and one $10 days.
So I said all that to say this…
Instead of focusing on big wins, change your focus to collecting small wins. Each day is an opportunity to stack a small win. A win is a win no matter how big or small.
Get in the habit of winning and you’ll become a winner…
As cheesy as that sounds.
“But how?” you ask.
Here are my favorite ways to stack small wins…
- When the alarm clock goes off, don’t hit snooze.
- When you jump out of bed, spend xx minutes on yourself before you check any email/technology.
- When you have a choice between instant gratification and delayed gratification, choose the latter.
- When somebody cuts you off in traffic, don’t create internal drama. React positively.
- When you catch yourself in a negative thought loop, let go.
- When you don’t feel like doing the work, take the smallest step possible. Write one word. Do one rep.
- When everybody is competing for your schedule, run it by your own accord. Control your schedule. Don’t let the world dictate your schedule.
- When your buds text you for brews, but you got important tasks on your to-do list still undone that will upgrade the quality of your life, tell em “Next time.”
- When you get rejected, don’t think. Act forward. Quickly.
- When you’re tired and have no energy to attend to your habits, do the minimum possible. Instead of writing 1000 words, write 10 words. Instead of sending 10 cold emails, send one. Keep the chain alive.
- Instead of drinking away the pain, immerse yourself in the pain and watch it with full attention until it dissolves.
- When something irritates you, don’t react unconsciously. Choose the most optimal reaction. Think before you speak.
- When you feel the fear, go forward anyway (within reason)
- When you’re defeated, practice gratitude.
- When you say you’re going to do something (whether verbally or on your to-do list), honor your word.
- When you find yourself trying to talk yourself out of doing something you know you should be doing, stop and do it.
- When you don’t have time to do 4 hours of deep work, do 20 minutes of deep work.
- When you’re commuting or stuck in dead time, use the time to practice mindfulness or listen to a podcast.
- When you’re about to sleep, read 10 pages of a book.
- When you have no time, give yourself time.
- When you feel pain, reflect.
- When people around you are complaining/gossiping, leave.
- When somebody is trying to argue with you, ignore and keep doing you. No argument is worth giving up your internal peace.
If you honor the above list of small wins, then over time you start thinking, speaking, and acting differently.
Whereas before you’d give into the limitations of your body and mind…
And strike out…
You now rise above…
And get on base.
The more you get on base, the greater your batting percentage improves…
Which means the more wins you collect.
The more wins you collect, the more you build up the habit of winning.
Then one day you step up to the plate…
The bases are loaded…
The eyes are on you…
The pressure is on…
But you’re calm and collected because your habits, mindset, and abilities are aligned to match the intensity of the moment.
There is no shaking you.
Because you’re centered.
The pitcher throws a fastball…
It resembles every other at bat where you hit a single…
But this time the bat doesn’t make the same contact with the ball…
It touches the “sweet spot” and sends it flying to the upper deck.
“Grand slam! Grand slam! Infinite You just hit a grand slam” as the crowd roars… showering you with praise, money and attention. Enough to change the course of your entire life.
You round the bases.
And reach home plate as everybody on your team comes running out to greet you…
But as you round third base, you realize…
This wasn’t due to luck…
This wasn’t due to anything special you did…
This wasn’t due to discovering “one shiny object” that made this possible…
It was due to all the small wins you collected.
Day after day.
Week after week.
Month after month.
Year after year.
And during that moment, you finally “get” it.
You finally understand that…
You only need ONE big win to change the course of your life…
But every BIG win is made up of a lifetime of small wins.
So I end this email with a simple question:
What small wins will you collect today to make a BIG win possible tomorrow?