This TED talk is great in its simplicity. In it Stephen Duneier shows how small changes can help in achieving ambitious goals.
As an example, he points to the evolution of Novak Djokovic, one of the best tennis players of all time. He charts Novak’s progress from when he started on the professional tour to becoming world number 1. Seeing his rise as an armchair sports lover, you’re likely to think there must have been some major improvements at different points in his career. But instead, it was just a few percentage points of improvement, over time, that created an exponential effect and had him achieving his ambitious goals.
Using examples of world class people in their fields, as well as Stephen’s own experiences, here are some quotes that provide some insight from the talk:
“Break ambitious goals into their simplest form”
Focusing on the lowest common denominator helps in getting started. Which is often the hardest part of any goal. Every small step creates momentum and creates the snowball effect. And in doing so it also helps to create manageable decisions.
“Make marginal adjustments to your routine”
Looking at your routine and seeing opportunity to change small components within it opens endless possibilities. What time is being spent on activities that don’t help you get to where you want to be?
“Stop being a spectator in decision making”
And start being a participant. Rather than just going with the flow and sticking to norms, be active and engaged.
Putting these together, marginal improvements equals huge impact.
It’s how Stephen went from being a C grade student who struggled to concentrate for 10 minutes into someone who was regularly achieving ambitious goals.
To see what all those achievements were and some of the stories behind them, check out the full 17-minute TED talk below.
And if you are thinking, “I don’t have time to watch a 17-minute video”, why not just start with 1 minute today. Come back and do the next minute tomorrow. And so on. Just take some small steps.
It could well be the start of your own marginal improvements that create huge impacts in your world and those around you.
Want to watch even more TED Talks we have shared. Check them all out here.