The Small Leap to Success

Big results happen one small step at a time. That seems to be the message from the top essay from this months' collection at Change This.

"Strive for Minimal Achievement" is its title. Who wants to strive for minimal achievement? Nonetheless, Barry J. Moltz's essay, taken from his January book "Bounce!", is funny, and reasonably wise. In it he has an example of the email he should send his friends telling them of his latest great failure. He takes a shot at people who buy books with the number 7 in the title (i.e., Steven Covey's 7 Habits of successful People and Deepak Chopra's 7 Spiritual Laws). He also has a Zen koan that makes his main point, and I will paraphrase and condense: Two Buddhist monks were trash-talking. One said, my master is so great, he can cross rivers without a bridge. The other said, my master is so great, when he cooks rice, he cooks rice.

We know which one would win in a battle of stand-up comics. But Moltz says in business, the winner is the one who doesn't set impossible goals, but the one who can focus on one thing at a time. In truth, lowering expectations is the best way to feel happy about successes.

Personally, I need a different sort of guide to save me from my own ambitions. But it was a fun read.