Achieve Your Goals: Lessons from a Domino.


Dominoes. Really? What could you possibly learn about achieving goals from a domino? Well, it turns out, a lot! At approximately 2” tall, a domino seems pretty insignificant. But did you know that a single domino, standing on it’s end, possesses enough potential kinetic energy to move an object 1.5x it’s size?

At some point in your life, you probably spent a significant amount of time lining up rows of dominoes standing on their end. You tap the first domino and in a matter of seconds, what took you an hour to complete has been completely wrecked. One domino falls on the next and creates a chain reaction ultimately leading to the fall of hundreds of others.

Now apply the potential energy to this chain reaction. If you line up a sequence of dominoes where each subsequent domino is 1.5x the size of the previous domino the power on display will blow your mind. At domino #1 you’re only talking about moving an object 5” tall. Pretty insignificant right?

But by domino 29, you’re knocking down THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING!!!

Domino 35...Mt. Everest

Here’s a short video to explain the science behind this truth.

Domino object as large as the distance between the surface of the earth and the moon.

57 dominoes!!!

The key to this science experiment working is found in the sequence. If you try to jump from domino 2 to domino 10, you’re wasting your time. It won’t budge. But if you’re intentional, consistent, and focused on the next domino right in front of you, there is no limit to what could be knocked down.

What does this have to do with pursuing your goals? A TON! As an example, take the goal of losing 30 pounds. If you simply focus on the 30 pound number without considering the microscopic choices that ultimately add up to losing the weight, you’ll get frustrated and give up. However, if you realize that every goal is a journey that requires your attention in the moment-by-moment decisions and actions, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Goals are not achieved by taking shortcuts. It takes discipline, consistency, and patience to get to where you want to be. Realizing and agreeing with this does not mean you will never take a step backward. You will stumble. You will experience setbacks. But, if you’re committed to the journey and keep your focus on the next step instead of the ultimate destination, you’re more likely to get up, dust yourself off, and try again. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate the small victories along the way. Don’t wait until you cross the finish line to congratulate yourself.

Don’t be afraid of big goals! Set them. Dream of them. Aspire toward them. But understand that accomplishment of those goals comes through the disciplined approach that is required to get there. This is why so many fail to achieve their goals. They lack the discipline to keep at it.

What is a goal have you set for yourself? Break your goal down one “domino” at a time. Identify the dominoes until you get to an objective you can accomplish today, and then go do it. James Clear in his book Atomic Habits explains the effectiveness of seeking 1% of progress toward your goal each day. As these improvements compound, the dominoes begin to stack up and before you know it, you’re miles from where you began.

You can accomplish your goals! You can become the man you are called to be in every arena of life. I’m cheering you on as you step into the arena and can’t wait to hear the stories of your success. Comment below and let me know what you’re pursuing. If you want to learn more or get a copy of Atomic Habits, you can use the link below and support Arena of Man.

In the arena with you,