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Matt Kinnaman

Small Victories Matter (In A Big Way)

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A couple of days ago, talking with a friend who lives across the country from me, I dropped a small, positive challenge on him.

Now, he’s a guy who always enjoyed the speed and agility, and energy that comes with natural athleticism and a healthy adventurous spirit. But life has a way of crushing that spirit and eroding speed, agility, and energy. And that erosion leads to more erosion until, after a few short years, the easy path of least resistance quickly winds its way downward to the unhappy land of slow, sedentary, low-energy, low-motivation decline. Once arrived there, most people find it almost impossible to climb back up. Excuses multiply while health and well-being measurements degrade. Talk about a downward spiral. Unfortunately, we know the path all too well.

Okay, back to my friend on the other side of the country. He knows that downward path and knows it doesn’t really lead anyplace good. That’s a start. So I offered that small positive challenge I mentioned a moment ago, suggesting just a simple step back in the right direction.

“The most important thing to do is move,” I said to him. “So today, immediately after you finish lunch, go outside and walk one mile. That’s it. Just walk one mile and try to do it in under 17 minutes. Put everything else aside, and do it. Your entire day will suddenly exist in a new light. And you will know you accomplished something good for you.”

He agreed to do it. Later, he sent me a screenshot of his walk. He did it. He walked 1.02 miles in 16:41, which translates to a 16:20 pace. Success!

Huge success, actually, because all movement matters, and this bedrock principle always remains true: Something is better than nothing. So don’t do nothing.

He did something. He did what he agreed to do. He then followed through and did what he set out to do. That’s a small victory that matters in a big way. “He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much.”

Take this thought with you: Choose one meaningful action and complete it today. To make it meaningful, make sure it includes good in both its practice and its result. And that it benefits not just you but, at the very least, creates a positive ripple effect in the life of another. Get a small victory today. It matters in a big way.

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