I’m going to tell you a story about one of the most pivotal moments I had in my youth.
Let me take you back to middle school Mike. It was the summer of seventh grade and the most important thing in my life was playing Resident Evil Two on PlayStation. I spent the entire summer playing the game until I could beat it. I must have logged hundreds and hundreds of hours getting to the end of this game.
This took a big toll on me. It got to the point where if someone would accidentally shut off the TV and my game wasn’t saved, I would freak out and become temperamental. During that summer, I would sleep in until two pm, and stay up until four in the morning. I was pretty heavy growing up, and these habits certainly didn’t help that.
Getting to Work
Then comes eighth grade, the year of my Bar Mitzvah. I was a big Michael Jordan fan, so naturally, I wanted to try out for the eighth-grade basketball team. I had the brilliant idea to use some of my Bar Mitzvah money to build a basketball court at my house…by myself.
Well not completely by myself. I had my dad and my brother-in-law there to help with the labor, and I convinced my mom to let me rearrange our yard and patio so that I could have a full-court basketball court with two hoops! With my teammates by my side, I was game and ready for the work.
Once school got out for the summer, we started to get our gear together. My dad owns a plumbing business, so he already had some of the equipment and knowledge that we needed to make my basketball court dreams come true.
We start building it and every day I’m out there jackhammering, sledgehammering, carrying broken concrete back into the rented dumpster, carrying old cement blocks, and all the other fun parts of a whole yard overhaul.
The work felt like it was never-ending. Yet it seemed like we were barely making a dent. My mom would come outside yelling “This better be done this summer!” It was a massive contrast from my prior summer filled with screen time and sleeping in.
After phase one of removing the old concrete, we needed to level out the dirt and grass to create a smooth foundation…just like in life. Then began the work of creating sections with 2×4’s to pour the cement into, leveling out the concrete, making sure it’s smooth. We had to do one small section at a time.
At this point, I’m starting to doubt myself. I didn’t like all the work, I wanted to go back to playing video games. My dad reminded me “This is what you wanted, imagine how awesome it will be once it’s finished.”
We were able to finish by the end of the summer, and on the other side of all that hard work was an awesome basketball court. The concrete had a homemade touch, especially in the places that I poured it, but I got a nice pair of basketball hoops and was over the moon with what I had created. Every day I would go out and feel so proud that I had built this court all by myself – well with a bit of help.
Tiny Actions Daily
I look back to that summer and think about how often I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. Even when it felt like we weren’t making progress, those small intentional actions every day paid off.
Sometimes when you want to give up you have to be reminded of why you wanted it in the first place, like my dad did for me. Another strategy is to just focus on the one task in front of you. Just like I did with the concrete. Breaking down and then pouring one small section at a time.
I think about how often this lesson has shown up in my life. Looking at my career in sales, making five to ten calls a day, that eventually accumulated over $350,000 in personal sales. The same thing has happened in my other career endeavors and projects.
It’s easy to get caught up and feel like you’re not doing enough, or aren’t seeing results fast enough, but every tiny action matters. Whether it’s in health, business, relationships, or some other area of life, every step you take is just as important as the next.
While it’s important to have goals in mind, your accomplishments aren’t just about the end goal. They’re about the journey you took. Once you reach your destination you can look up from the top and enjoy the view, while appreciating every step it took to get you there.
This philosophy is at the core of most of my achievements, as well as the work I share with the world. I encourage each one of you to focus on using tiny actions daily, or as I like to call them TAD. This approach will help you make you reach your biggest goals by focusing on the task that’s in front of you today. At the end of the road, you’ll be grateful for every ounce of concrete you poured, every sentence you wrote, and every step you took that allowed you to make your dreams come true.