virgin islands scene

A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
-- Patricia Neal


Wednesday, July 3, 1996

Bit by bit

"Bit by bit, putting it together...
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art.
Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just the vision’s no solution,
Everything depends on execution,
Putting it together, that’s what counts."
-- Stephen Sondheim, from Sunday In The Park With George

You can have, do, or be whatever you want if you will commit to it consistently. That means doing something every day, every hour, or even every minute, over and over again until your goal is realized.

Little things, done again and again, have enormous power. Picking up the phone and calling prospects, practicing a musical instrument, writing chapter after chapter in a book. Success comes from the consistent application of effort.

The reason that most people are living mediocre lives is that they’re just not disciplined to do work consistently. It’s easier to take a 2-hour lunch, or skip class, or just find a job where someone else tells you exactly what to do. Initiative and consistent effort require constant commitment.

Imagine that you’re leaving for lunch in seven minutes. That’s plenty of time to make another phone call. On the other end of that call may be your future best customer. It’s easy to rationalize that you don’t have enough time to make another call. It’s easy to find “busy work” to do for seven minutes -- looking though your mail again, backing up the files on your computer, tidying up your desk, programming your friend’s number into your phone. It’s easy to let that seven minutes get away from you.

But just killing time won’t get you anywhere. Sure it’s a little painful to make a few extra calls, to practice a little longer, to work a few more minutes on your proposal. But which pain would you rather have: the small pain of discipline or the enormous pain of regret when you lose the big sale and have to explain to your kids why you can’t take them to Disney World?

Get in the habit of doing the little things over and over again. You’ll leave the competition in the dust and create a life of excellence.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.