One of my earliest memories of childhood is finding a parking spot. Yep. A parking spot. You can’t make this stuff up. I grew up in the heart of congested, clogged and gridlocked Los Angeles. I hadn’t seen a farm animal until I was almost 10 years old – much less any wilderness. The closest we got to wilderness was an empty lot being prepared to make room for another building.
All of which makes finding a parking spot that much more amazing. I remember it like it was yesterday. We were circling the lot over and over trying to find parking. It felt like forever. There was not an empty spot in sight. Then, finally a car pulled out. My dad, who was driving, slammed the transmission into reverse and backed up before someone else could cut in and grab the spot.
It was a little victory. Typical big city stuff, I suppose. And it just might be a rather sad first memory. But none of that mattered. We found a spot. And it was indeed a little victory.
I am often reminded of that memory today when I am working on an account or helping out friends with some business challenges. And I think it’s a pretty good lesson that I learned early on.
You see, it seems that we are in too much of a rush these days for the next big win. The epic victory. The huge success.
What we end up doing is ignoring all the little victories along the way that got us there.
I find that in life and business, it is often these little victories that are far more important than the big ones. They are more important because they allow repeatable success. A roadmap of accomplishments that eventually add up to the big victory. Whereas one big victory often does not provide a pathway to repeatable success. Because they just sort of happen.
It’s like the person who wins the lottery. Does that make them financially savvy? Someone who has put a ton of work into this windfall? Hardly.
But the person who saves? Who invests? Who pays attention to trends and is able to leverage them into repeatable small victories? Well, that is someone to be celebrated. These are the little victories that add up to the big victory.
As some of my readers know, I have a fondness for the military for a number of reasons. One that I particularly like is their embrace of little victories. For example, the task of making your bed is a little victory in the military. You can mess up basic training. You can perform tasks in the wrong way. You can be late or unprepared. But if you make your bed – you know that you have at least gotten one thing right that day. That is a little victory.
The little victory is the foundation upon which success is built. Without it, success is just luck.