#773 The Physics of Success

Dominoes - Part 2

Way back in the very early days of our +1 journey together, we talked about dominoes.

As you may recall, I introduced you to a physics professor who taught us that a domino can knock over another domino that’s 50% bigger than it. Start with a tiny little finger-nail sized, tweezer-placed domino and incrementally increase the size by 50% for 13 dominoes and you’re knocking over a 3-foot tall, 100-pound domino.

Powerful stuff! (2.5-minute video demonstration by our dear professor here. 🤓)

Today I’d like to spend a little more time talking about the geometric power of dominoes, inspired by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s great book, The ONE Thing.

Their version of the domino tale begins with a domino that’s 2-inches tall. Line up dominoes that are incrementally 50% larger than the one before and let’s see what we get.

Of course, domino #2 is 3-inches tall. #3 is 4.5-inches tall. #4 is growing but still less than 7-inches tall.

By #8, we’re 3-feet tall and making some geometric progress.

By the 10th domino, you’re about as tall as an NBA player.

Then, get this: “By the 18th, you’re looking at a domino that would rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The 23rd domino would tower over the Eiffel Tower and the 31st domino would loom over Mount Everest by almost 3,000 feet. Number 57 would practically bridge the distance between the earth and the moon!

The moral of the story?

When you think of success, shoot for the moon. The moon is reachable if you prioritize everything and put all your energy into accomplishing the most important thing.

Emphasis on: Putting ALL your energy into the NEXT MOST IMPORTANT THING!

They tell us that it’s pretty easy to line up dominoes and knock them over. It’s much more challenging to line up our life-dominoes. Highly successful people know this: “So every day they line up their priorities anew, find the lead domino, and whack away at it until it falls.

Why does that work?

Because, they say, “extraordinary success is sequential, not simultaneous. What starts out linear becomes geometric. You do the right thing and then you do the next right thing. Over time it adds up, and the geometric potential of success is unleashed.

Of course, all of that reminds me of the Atomic Habits-inspired broken spreadsheet where we learned that 1% gains compounded over a decade results in a QUADRILLION times improvement.

And, of course, it all begs a few questions:

What’s your most important goal these days?

And what’s the next most important domino to knock over in pursuit of that target?

And… What’s the next most important thing to do TODAY?

That’s Today’s +1.

Here’s to shooting for the moon and getting there one most-important thing at a time as we tap dance up a staircase of dominoes! 🌝

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