Small Wins

Small Wins

Big wins.

Big wins…are…(wait for it)…big.

They shift your perspective and take you to a new level and most importantly change things.

But because they’re “big”, they’re necessarily rare as well.

When you do get one, it’s like your life tilts upside down. If you have the fortune to do it back-to-back, it’s tempting to go crazy and think that every day will be filled with big wins.

The dopamine hit you get off a big win can be addicitng, but it’s important to remember that you dont’ get them every single day (and if you do, they don’t end up seeming quite so ‘big” anymore, because your definition of “big” has shifted).

In fact, you’ll often go weeks, months or years without a big win.

In between, it’s important to have small wins: an awesome unsolicited email, an unexpected sale, a great workout.

The stuff that people don’t necessarily notice or talk about, but those are what will keep you going.

From small win to small win to small win to a bigger win and eventually a very, very big win.

Aim big, but makes sure you get small wins too. You’ll need ’em.

photo credit: Martin Gommel

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  1. Gregg Williams says

    How true! There’s a musician’s adage that says, “It takes 15 years to become an overnight sensation.” Did you know that the Beatles played 6-hour sets, under awful conditions, for over 10 years before they even got noticed? I mean…this happened to *the Beatles*!

    Success almost always comes at last, not at first. So anyone who *doesn’t* get pumped up by small wins won’t stay in the game long enough to get to the big win! Do yourself a big favor: know, in the very marrow of your bones, that the big win is not coming right after you start, accept that “paying your dues” is an actual and necessary expense, and train yourself to enjoy the small pleasures. If you’re going to believe something, believe that doing what you need to do every day is *all* you need to focus on.

  2. says

    Love this Joel. I’ve had some big wins in the last year, but I realize now that they were made up of hundreds of ‘smaller wins’ over the last few years.

    I think small wins happen as a result of installing efficient and effective habits in your life. Consistency is definitely the name of the game. Anyway, I really enjoyed this, and, I think that people don’t appreciate the small wins enough. I know I don’t; but I’m working at enjoying them more. :)

    Thanks for landing this in my inbox this morning. :) (Asia Time)

  3. says

    This is great, Joel. It challenges me to never forget the importance of incremental growth and appreciating milestones (no matter how trivial they may seem).
    Taking notice of the small wins has a powerful effect of helping you build momentum and keep focus on you goals.

  4. says

    I completely agree Joel.

    Everyday I focus on hitting singles. Yeah, every once in a while a homerun strikes but that only happens because I give myself a chance every day by focusing on singles.

    I meet a lot of people who are focused on trying to hit a homerun. The problem is that it is darn hard to do this and often the consequence of doing the work everyday. So they never are able to get the big hit so they just quit.

  5. Heidi says

    Hi Joel, loved this it was perfect for me,
    Yesterday I had a real big win, i completed my first tri, Sure for most it would be a small win but for me it was huge, it was awesome and all I can think about now is why have I waited so long to do it? I had to start small and build up with advice and the help of your cold shower therapy! But today guess what, I can’t wait to do another tri and another after that, anything is possible why did I never believe it until now? Thanks for your encouragement,

  6. Elena says

    My 6-year-old son started a diary where he notes his achievements. We really should learn a lot from the kids. In his diary, he listed visiting a foreign country, visiting his Dad’s office and holding a tennis ball for the first time! How often do we notice and appreciate “tennis balls” in our lives?

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