Life Is a Domino run
I look back on my life and it’s a succession of events that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the one before.
Sliding doors moments. The butterfly effect. Chaos theory. Cause and effect.
Whatever you want to call it, the power is clear to see. An action, or a stroke of luck creates a circumstance, conversation or opportunity to take action again… and the cycle repeats.
It’s only when you zoom out and look back that you can see the bizarre path you’ve been on and where different strands of it began.
It’s like one of those huge domino runs you used to build as a kid. Push the first one, and no matter how many twists, turns, loops and tricks there are along the route, it’s just a matter of time until the last one falls.
I’m not trying to say our future is pre-determined. In fact the exact opposite. In real life we have no way of knowing which path our domino run will take.
But we do have the choice — every day, every moment — on whether to push that first domino or not.
The Comfort Zone
Think about how muscle building works, physiologically. I remember being shocked the first time I had it explained to me. You exert yourself. Push past what you’re currently comfortable doing, and the fibres in your muscles tear.
But then they grow back. Stronger. And that’s how you build muscle.
It’s also how you build progress. Every time you push yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone, it will feel tough. It won’t be fun. And it won’t be tiny fibres of your muscles that are tearing…
It will be small shreds of confidence fraying. It will be frustration, nerves, anxiety, rejection, dead-ends and cringe-worthy moments.
But you’ll grow. You’ll make progress. You’ll have pushed the first domino.
What Am I Doing Here?
Let me try to illustrate what I’m talking about with a recent example from my own life. Last week I found myself at a business conference that completely overwhelmed me.