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Power of Small Wins5 min read

Daisy was 44 years old and a Management graduate who worked for an international bank in the wealth management department. Owing to the demanding career, she had delayed her progeny to mid ‘30s and she was happy about it. However, when she did take on Motherhood, she decided to focus on her new born and thus, took a break from work for almost 10 years.

By the time she hit her mid ‘40s and her child almost 10 years old, the professional bug reminded her that she was meant to do much more than embrace motherhood in oblivion. This is when the need to salvage herself through the labyrinth of conundrum was apparent. This realization was certainly a cathartic feeling but a direction was now needed. It has been almost a decade since the break and a lot had happened in the job market. A lot of catching up had to be done and sometimes it seemed like Daisy was her own nemesis owing to the lack of new age skill.

Although demand of advanced skill may seem like a deal breaker, what Daisy has to understand is that she has grown in these 10 years. As easy it is to run herself down, the skills she has learnt is valuable to conquer any kind of fear.  However, this does not mean that she does not have to prepare herself for her new career. So, what is that one thing that would help her cross the bridge and get to the other side of her dream?

Let me begin with a question first. When was the last time you had a big breakthrough? When everything seemed to be on track. You landed that dream job, you lost that extra pound or you even met that person of your dream. These are the moments that are priceless and make this life worth living. However, the problem comes when we focus only on the big things.

It was Steve Jobs who once said “people over estimate the things you can do in one year and under estimate what you can do in ten years”. What he meant is that people are in a hurry and over burden themselves to complete a lot of tasks in one year and end up being drained. Whereas, if you really want to achieve sustainable success in long term then focus on building bit-by-bit. Focus on achieving the little things on a regular basis that helps in creating solid foundation for the future. Similarly, Small Wins are those that lead to big breakthroughs.

Research by Harvard Professor and Author Teresa Amabile has shown that tracking these small and incremental wins can do wonders for our motivation and boost our self-confidence. Just like the big wins does.

Every achievement – big or small – activates our brain’s reward circuitry. That’s why it is said that human beings avoid doing things they are not good at. Satisfying experience releases testosterone and dopamine which leaves you feeling confident, energetic and motivated.  

Small wins can be more powerful that the big ones as they lay the strongest foundation on which your bigger wins harbor.  Without small wins there can be no big wins and the tendency is to give up if we realize we are not moving towards our destination. Small wins keep us motivated and keeps providing evidence to our brain that things are progressing and the task is achievable. Small wins are also more frequent, much like the low-lying fruit that is easy to pluck.

So how is this going to help Daisy in her pursuit to career success. Daisy is most likely to face rejections, disappointment as she starts looking for a job. However, the focus must not be totally looking for a job but on the process of achieving it. Remember, she quit her job earlier a decade ago and her needs then and now are most likely to be different. The reason why she wants to get back to work is combined with her own personal success and growth. Therefore, building up her skill towards achieving that job must also include those areas of improvement that are also going to give her fulfillment such as exploring her own strength and skills rather than doing what is required for the job. This could also help her to pivot her career rather than sticking to something that she gave up a decade ago.

These will be incremental steps towards achieving her outcome and in all probability will be soul satisfying and also will build her for something bigger. The smaller wins are those daily dosage of reminders that Daisy is on the right track and has the capacity to achieve everything she wants. May be under different conditions that suit her individuality rather than changing her core to fit someone else’s expectation.

It is also a way of setting your sight firmly on the finish line and also savor all the moments that will take you there. Once she does that, she is going to remind herself every day that she is progressing towards her goal. This boost in confidence and motivation will help her stay on track and keep reminding her that she is a winner.

Power of Small win is often under estimated because human brain is wired to look at bigger things. But the good news is that it is the tiny drops that make a mighty ocean. All what is required is the patience and persistence to reach that finishing line.    

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