Why Results Are The Culmination Of The Small Decisions We Make Every Day

And how to gain greater control in our lives

I have heard it said that in life that we are either constantly learning or we’re going backwards. This can be the case for our business as well, can’t it?

I like to think about how I can get just that little bit better every day as a parent, husband, educator and in every other aspect of my life.

But I often find I’m being pulled back into bad thinking or habits that don’t best serve the person I want to be.

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” – Archilochus

What I find, is that in taking the time to learn how to do things in the right way, we are able to get into a place of flow where the training takes over. Consider a professional boxer going into a bout saying, ‘I know I have done the training for this, I could not have worked any harder’, but who then drops off a little when they have “made it”, they mistakenly think they are good enough and get beaten.


Something I have been introduced to by Tim Ferris is the Stoic philosophy of thinking. (an ancient Roman Stoic serving in the time of Julius Caesar) deliberately did things that made people want to ridicule him. He did this to desensitise himself against feeling foolish and to encourage a thinking of not needing an environment where he needed to protect his reputation or ego.

This is a philosophy that helps to keep me on track to do the best I can without the need or concern for how I may appear to others, yet as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is a constant struggle to achieve improvement. And it is one my ego has difficulty with!

So how do we look to create a growth mindset in our life and business.? It’s in the process not in the outcome. We are often too focused on the idea of “if I do X then I will get Y in return”.

Let’s say you want to increase turnover, this is an outcome of a set of processes you put in place. The processes for increasing revenue would be areas such as increased customer service, or training on job performance.

The processes should be easy to create, as they are tangible. The outcome would likely be in increase in turnover.

It is also about our Locus of controlIf you believe that you have control over what happens, then you have what psychologists refer to as an internal locus of control. If you believe that you have no control over what happens and that external variables are to blame, then you have an external locus of control

In business, It’s important to be able to have a more internal locus of control as you will face situations where you feel discomfort or fear yet need to advance in spite of the feeling. Our mind is like a muscle, if we train, it will get bigger. So it’s important to be able to face discomfort, which can be either internal or external and felt physically and/or mentally.

Here’s my challenge to you. A core part of a successful life and business are the habits and principals we have:

  1. Identify 3-5 habits you want to create change in. For example getting up an hour earlier each day / increasing revenue by 10% / Create a full operations manual in 2 months
  2. What one of those habits will make the biggest difference in you life or business if you achieve it? Say getting up earlier each day is your first habit change
  3. Identify 3-5 principals (think of them as small aspects of the habit) you want to change. e.g. Meditate, exercise, review your 12 month plan and plan your day
  4. The last thing to do is create a process that will help you to achieving the principals.

Remember the little things are the big things.

Let me know how you get on in the comments section below.

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