Alma was a very wise man when he told Helaman ‘by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.’ It truly is the small and simple things in life that can either create success or dig a pit of despair. In this weeks R.M. Ramblings, I would like to focus on two aspects of small and simple things that we can focus on to increase our success: the importance of an upwards trajectory and continuing to do the things that have brought you success before.
The Importance of an Upwards Trajectory
It has been said that the only limiter of success is time. Luckily for those with an eternal perspective, we know that time isn’t limited at all. We have eternity to create success. Because of that, the trajectory we are on is of utmost importance. Consider the following scenario:
If we assume that the X-axis is time, and the Y-axis is success, we see that the circle begins a lot better poised for success. Maybe the circle was born into privilege, or has natural talents, or was blessed with a lot of opportunities. However, over time that advantage means nothing if the triangle has a higher trajectory. For example:
The circle stayed mostly stagnant, improving just by a little bit. The triangle, however, got on a positive trajectory and stayed with it. This catapulted the triangle ahead of the circle in the success category, and the more time that passes, the more success the triangle will enjoy.
We can be the triangle! All it takes is doing things that take us on an upwards trajectory every day: reading a good book, writing, praying, and working out, just to name a few.
Success isn’t an outcome. It is a decision that must be made with every action. With every action you take, consider: does this put me on an upwards trajectory?
Continue to do the Things That Have Brought You Success Before
There’s a disturbing trend that you can see with people today. They struggle in life, so they decide that a change needs to be made. So, they work hard to make that change until they become successful. (So far this sounds great, right?) But then, things go downhill. Because they no longer have the pressure of their struggle, they stop to do the little things that made them successful! So, they regress day by day until eventually they are struggling again, and the cycle repeats itself.
What would happen if we just kept on doing the little things that made us successful? We would never stop improving! For example, think of teenager trying to get in shape. After a year of working out, he looks and feels healthy. However, if he became content with that and stopped working out altogether, he would regress back to an unhealthy state. On the contrary, if he continued working out, he would just improve in health and fitness!
I have seen this in my own life. Because of the blessings of God, I have been blessed with more social, physical, and mental success than I have ever seen before. However, this has also caused my time to become more constrained than ever before, making it a struggle to do the things that helped bring those blessings into my life. When I forget to do things like read my scriptures, pray, meditate, or workout, I see my success in life regress. However, as I continue to do the small things that contribute to my success, my success grows.
Figure out what things you do every day that contribute to your success, and vow to do them daily. Make them your standard operating procedures, or SOPs- you do them automatically.
They are easy to do, but they are easy not to do. Don’t get lazy.