incremental

By July 14, 2010Church, Leadership

As I mentioned in my last post, getting better at a skill or task or relationship is often incremental rather than monumental.

Breakthroughs happen one step at a time; maybe one inch at a time.  It’s the small decisions made correctly over sustained periods of time that build the momentum we need to move forward.

Unfortunately, we are conditioned to look for the one key thing — the one secret or step — that will produce a major change.  We expect to get better immediately.  We expect to improve by quantum leaps.  We expect our relationships to magically correct themselves and lead to endless bliss.

While we wait for the monumental to appear, we miss the incremental changes that are well within our grasp.

Perhaps a failing marriage cannot be transformed overnight.  That’s looking for a monumental change to save the day (and you’re probably hoping to buy real estate with no money down).  However, if we think incrementally, we can begin with a simple gesture of gratitude that forms the first step towards repairing the breach.  We might start by taking out the trash without being asked.   It could be a short, hand-written note left in a purse or briefcase.  Incremental change recognizes the power of small gestures.

Do monumental breakthroughs happen?  They do.  I’ve seen people grow in ways and at rates no one ever imagined.  I’ve also seen good people grow frustrated because the big breakthrough never comes.

Rather than wait for your monumental change, why not pick one thing you can do today and do it?