In writing today’s piece, I am going to stand on the shoulders of two of my favourite authors; Jim Rohn and Jeff Olson. They both wrote and spoke extensively about the power and impact of small decisions and actions that we all make and take every day.
Jim Rohn once said that, “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure.”
Now, Rohn asks, why would someone make an error in judgment and then be so foolish as to repeat it every day? The answer is because he or she does not think that it matters.
On their own, our daily acts do not seem that important. A minor oversight, a poor decision, or a wasted hour generally doesn’t result in an instant and measurable impact. More often than not, we escape from any immediate consequences of our deeds.
If making the right or wrong choices always had immediate feedback, we might do some things differently. The problem is that they don’t. The choices that you and I make today may have little or no noticeable impact on our day today; or tomorrow, or the day after that. However, rest assured that their effects will accumulate over time.
As Jeff Olson says in his book, The Slight Edge,
“It’s not the one junk food meal (that you eat); it’s the thousands, over time. Eating a burger is just a simple error in judgment. Not eating it is a simple positive action. Eating it won’t kill you – today. But, compounded over time it can and will. Not eating it won’t save you – today. But compounded over time, it can and will.
I am going to controversially argue that it is easy to eat well. The problem for all of us is that it’s also easy not to; maybe even easier. And, therein is a big challenge for all of us
So, the seemingly trivial decisions and actions we make and take today, and not just about the food we eat, may seem insignificant in the great scheme of things. But please remember that over time there is a price to be paid for repeatedly making poor choices.