Here’s the crux of my thesis behind this piece: a one percent change in your life, over time, compounds and leads to a much bigger impact in your life and the lives of others.
Admiral William McRaven by all accounts had an amazing military career, but his “go viral” moment in United States’ history was a commencement speech he gave in 2014 at the University of Texas at Austin. In this six-minute snippet he covers a few topics including his reasoning behind his belief that making your bed might be the most important thing you do each day.
I heard Admiral McRaven’s speech for the first time nearly five years ago. But honestly, I only started implementing bed-making a few months ago. The reason? Not to get a leg-up on my day or my life, but to make my wife happy – to get the “attaboy” from her! Regardless of my motivation, it’s been an incredible experience to witness Admiral McRaven’s listed benefits in real life.
The power of leveraging small changes in one’s life to provide big impacts over a long period of time has become a bit of a mantra or guiding principle for me as of late. This is especially true since I finished listening to the book Atomic Habits (Amazon | My review). So today I made a list of the TOP 5 small things that I do or have been doing that I believe have had a significant impact on my life and family over time:
- Making my bed.
- Listening to at least one professional or personal development book each month.
- Increasing retirement/savings contributions by a minimum of 1-3% of my income every year.
- Meeting with 3-4 people per month to either establish or deepen a relationship with them.
- Taking 3-5 minutes each day to pray, read, or listen to something faith-based.
Whether we call it the ripple effect, the butterfly effect, or just implementing atomic habits we should ALL be identifying small life changes we can make that will have long term positive effects on us and the world.
- Create a list of five small things that you do currently, and five new things you could do, that could have a significant impact on your life and that of your family.
- Read Atomic Habits.
- Email me that you read this whole email, and I’ll put you in a drawing for a free book!**