Remember the old saying “Little drops of water make the mighty ocean”. Similarly, many small wins aggregate a big success.
Just think that you have to take a long journey. Non-stop travel can make you extremely drained and exhausted. But, if you hang about at short distant milestones, take a short break, refresh yourself and move towards the next milestone. The moment you will your desired destination, you will not only be energetic and excited, but your journey will be full of joyful memories.
Targeting big goals is not erroneous neither is impossible to achieve. Once you divide them into small fractions and celebrate you every little achievement, getting hands-on your goals to become easy and thrilling.
Every step leads to success. You cannot reach the peak in just one leap; rather you have to take small consistent steps to reach the top. Success is not an overnight trip; it is a gradual successive process is to be gone through.
“Success is a series of small wins”
Being successful in every major or minor task of life is everyone’s desire. We all have big dreams, difficult targets, and great goals to achieve. Some get the chance to attain those and some fail.
Why people fail in achieving big goals? Simple, because long jumps and great achievements require hard work, consistency, and planning, and are tiring too. People get demotivated due to the lengthy process. The most important is not whether you achieve what you desire, but how you prepare to get to it matters more.
To prove the power of small wins as a key to success, how small wins affect the success journey? And lead you to ultimate success. Here are the reasons that make these tiny victories so powerful.
Fuel to Motivation
“Making progress— in terms of small wins— on meaningful work is the most powerful motivator” – found by The Harvard Business School’s professor Teresa Amabile and a psychologist Steven Karmar.
They both referred that progress recording of your daily done greatly affect your performance. They have labeled this power as “Inner work life”.
This is a kind of power small wins create. According to these researchers the “Inner work life” if positive—consists of tiny accomplished tasks—the bearers have a strong passion for their work and are more productive than the opposites.
One can maintain this “Inner work life” by recording the daily progress, even a tiny one. It is prescribed to write your surveillance and contemplations while the task was being completed. This method helps in strengthening performance in the future. That is how small wins work as a motivating fuel for the next level.
Your done list for the day works as an inspiration, to re-energize for the next day. This power of small wins change the perspective of a whole tiring day and keeps you motivated to undertake greater challenges.
Small wins and the significance of their power are not only taken seriously in the professional world. Scientists have also researched on the current topic and explain how the emotional feeling of bits of achievement is stringed with the neurons’ wiring of our brain.
Shawn Achor has explained it very beautifully in his prominent book called “The happiness advantage; the seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work”. In his book, he has given a neurological explanation in favor of the power of small wins. The extract of his explanation;
“Big goals shut the human brain as the fear factor is high in this situation, the part of the brain –the amygdala –that works for fear and threats, overcome the functioning of the prefrontal cortex – the part which performs thinking process related to decision making.”
Achor’s words are
“We watch in the brain scan that the more the amygdala lights up, the less the prefrontal cortex does”
Fear is killing to the brain; we all have heard it, now proved scientifically. The fear is related to success and incorporated to the big goals. If these big targets are divided into small tasks, the brain’s functioning will enhance. As Achor said
“Breaking a big goal into smaller more achievable goals prevent the fear part of your brain from hijacking your thinking cap and gives you victories”.
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Production of Positivity
Who can deny the vital role of positivity to attain and retain success?
Where does positivity come from?
Positivity comes from within. It is a kind of internal power generated by small wins. Working on a task and progressing step by step stimulates a feeling of satisfaction and encouragement for the further comparatively difficult targets.
This positive mood also works as a facilitator to creativity, productivity and managing the decisions. Amabile and Karmar has presented this power of small wins as a producer of positivity in the following words
“The more positive a person’s mood on a given day, the more creative thinking he did the next day –and, to some extent, the day after that –even taking into account his moods on those later days”
The positive feedback of small successes creates a big positive impact on psychologically. Martin Seligman, an American psychologist, researched this phenomenon and discovered that when people create positive feedback, they remain happy and depression-free and are more resilient and strong. Their accomplished tasks become a source of positive inspiration for that they can survive through even more difficult situations.
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“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; there is a power in small wins and slow gains” – Jim Rohn
Consistency is the key. Gradual wins count a lot and success is found by marking these small wins.
Karl E Weick an American organizational theorist and psychologist had worked a lot on this theory of the power of small wins. He suggests that
“Small wins have a transformational power. Once a small win is accomplished, forces are set in motion to favor the sequence of wins; this combination leads to greater achievements”.