When it comes to success, a lot of people have the idea of the big break. That all we have to do is wait patiently, do what we are doing, and then one day, success will arrive. This is why lottery tickets are so popular, in general people like the idea of getting to a place they want to be in quickly.
The truth is that even though that view of the world is very attractive, it’s not realistic. Of course, some people were lucky and got rich, but the number of them is low compared to the amount people who were in that position and didn’t achieve what they wanted to.
I first understood this when preparing for my Leaving Cert (exams before college). About three months before the exams, I realised that the better approach to achieving something is focusing on the small things that on their own don’t change much but accumulated over time, produce great results.
So in the months leading up to the exams, I would, among other things, get up early in the morning to spend half hour on revising all of my subjects. Of course, half an hour spent on this on its own didn’t make a huge difference, but the impact of this relatively simple habit was immense over time. For example, I found that just by repeating definitions every day, I was able to memorise over one hundred Physics definitions in about four weeks. And this is coming from a person who has a pretty bad memory and was never good at memorising things.
In the end, I ended up improving my results from Ds and low Cs to high Bs and As in the space of three months. This is the power of small actions done consistently over a period of time!