“Please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position and that your seat belt is correctly fastened.”
Your cross-country flight from New York to Los Angeles is finally coming to an end. The plane pulls up to the gate, and you grab your carry-on bag. As you step off the plane, you notice a sign at the gate:
Welcome to San Francisco!
San Francisco? Your ticket clearly says New York to Los Angeles. There’s no way the TSA would allow you to board the incorrect plane. So, what gives?
As the pilot steps off the plane, you ask him what happened. He replies, “oh, I just changed our trajectory by 7 degrees. No big deal.”
But, it’s a huge deal! San Francisco is nearly 400 miles from Los Angeles. That small, 7-degree change ended up changing everything in a major way.
Small habits can be the same way. Going to the gym for fifteen minutes one day won’t result in you losing weight. Watering your rose bush one day won’t result in beautiful blossoms the next day. You can’t read an entire 300-page book in five minutes.
What you can do is go to the gym for fifteen minutes a day for six months. You’ll probably see a change in your body in the end. You can water your rose bush every day for four to ten weeks. Only then will you see it in full bloom. You can read for five minutes every day for a month. Maybe you’ll finish that book you’ve been putting off for a while.
Our small efforts won’t make much of a difference in the instant they’re done, but if done consistently over time, our seemingly insignificant labor can put us in a place far away from where we stand today.
Change your trajectory, change your world.