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2 Important Lessons We Can Learn About Goal Setting From Dominoes


The Domino Effect. It’s likely you’ve heard the term, but do you really understand the incredible implications for our life and success that we can learn by studying dominoes?

The most common reason we see for people failing to achieve their goal is that people believe they have to take a massive first step in order to reach their goals, to kick off their momentum or gain the confidence they need to continue. This belief can lead to overwhelm about how far they are from their goal at the starting point.

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We also see that the busier the goal setter is in their life, the more stress this belief causes. Stress and overwhelm inevitably render the person paralyzed by fear or analysis and justifying why they’ve decided to shrink the size of their goal.

What if goal attainment is different to what we’ve been led to believe though? An in-depth analysis of dominoes teaches us two very different, yet very powerful lessons:

1. A little action, when repeated, can generate massive force

In the Netherlands each year, there is a National Domino Day. In 2009, one company decided to set up for a world record domino fall. Their display totaled 4,491,863 dominoes. The first dominos was tipped – setting off a chain reaction of over 4.4 million dominoes repeating the same action – falling over and tipping the domino next to it over.

From this show, an incredible discovery was made. This display unleashed the same amount of energy it would take for the average male to complete 545 pushups.

Real World Application: Today’s world is full of instant gratification. A world where all people want to do is 10 crunches and eat one salad, believing they will wake up with a 6-pack. And yet, logically we know this isn’t how life works. Instead, recognize that consistency matters!

Find consistency in the actions you take towards your goals. Whether it’s with making sales calls, doing live videos on social media, scheduling date nights with your significant other or daily exercise, the results may not always be immediately apparent. And yet force and momentum are being generated that will result in powerful changes and outcomes.

“Do something everyday that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.” – Mark Twain  

2. Small steps compound to have substantial impact

Do you think you need to be at your strongest, wealthiest, smartest or best to start? If so, you’re holding yourself back from achieving your goals sooner. With the exception of the “I’ll start next week/month/year” excuse, the next most common justification for not starting on a goal is “I’ll start when …” (fill in the blank with whatever tools you think you need to obtain before you can make a start).

Again, dominoes teach us a different lesson. Any step forward towards the goal is beneficial. Did you know a single domino has the capacity to bring down a domino 50% larger than it? The implications of this are MASSIVE!

If domino #1 was 5mm higher (the size of a tic tac), then the 13th domino would be more than a meter tall! If we continued this progression, then the 29th domino would be as tall as the Empire State Building, and the 69th domino would touch the moon!

Real World Application: If we can learn anything from dominoes, it’s to just start. The size of the step you take doesn’t matter, so long as you’re moving forward. Continue taking small steps and over time your actions will compound on each other to have an impact that is out of this world! 

What’s the one goal you’re looking forward to accomplishing before the end of the year? Share it with us in the comments!



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