When Big IS the Next Small Step
The principle of stretching our capabilities to spark growth
Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash
While the principle of starting small is foundational to Ikigai, today is about doing something big.
Starting small is fundamental to everything.
A giant leap is periodically required to encourage growth.
Here’s an example…
When preparing for my first marathon, my initial training focused on slowly building my fitness foundation by adding in only small increases in distance, intensity, or number of running days.
Once the foundation was set, in my case 6 miles, I needed to change the approach.
On the following Saturday, my scheduled long-running day, I went eight miles.
Going from six to eight was a big leap all at once, and as you can imagine, I was sore the next day.
The following Saturday was eight miles again and at a faster pace.
It was almost effortless, as if I had been running 8 miles for months.
In Order to Grow
That sudden increase in my distance signaled to my body that I was now running longer and would need more resources—muscle, lung capacity, and energy.
That’s why the second eight-mile run was easier and established a new baseline.
So guess what I did the following week?
Ran two more for a total of ten miles.
Same pattern—sore the following day, able to easily run the new distance the following week.
At that point in my training, adding only small increases would never have gotten me to marathon distance. I needed to shock my body out of complacency and ease to prompt it to grow.
Starting Small versus Sparking Growth
This was a very different approach from my initial foray into running, which involved running for one minute and walking for four, slowly increasing the running portion until I could complete a 5k race.
When you are just beginning something new, small is always the way.
A significant change will be needed for continued growth at a particular point, especially if you are noticing things leveling off.
This is true for anything in our lives.
🌀Reflection: Are you at a point where growth or progress has seemed to stall?
Try changing it up.
🌱 What might you do to ‘stretch’ yourself beyond your current baseline?
🌱 What could you do that might be completely different from anything you’ve done in that space?
🌱 What times have you started small in your life and then needed to ‘add some miles?’
🌱 How does the start small, big leap sequence apply to uncovering your Ikigai?