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October 30, 2023

The Physics Of Dominoes

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When I read the book “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and heard about how dominoes work, it absolutely blew me away. Something that many people do for fun is line up a bunch of dominoes, knock over the first one, and watch the momentum build as the energy passes from one domino to the next. It’s a great lesson to see how just one action can lead to a cascade of results.

But in the example I’m referencing, it goes another level. Not only do dominoes cascade, but their energy has the potential to multiply. When knocked over and spaced properly, any given domino has the ability to knock over another domino that is 1.5x its size. This means that a standard two inch tall domino can knock over a 3 inch tall domino.

Now this is where the magic happens. Given this ratio of one domino knocking over the next domino that is 1.5x its size, the 8th domino in the chain is 3 feet tall, the 18th domino is the size of the leaning tower of Pisa, the 23rd domino is the size of the Eiffel Tower, the 31st domino is taller than Mount Everest, and the 57th domino is almost as tall as the distance to the moon.

Now why does this matter?

It’s because we have the same outsized potential in our lives and growth, and it requires a few of the same criteria. 

First, we need to have a good plan so that our effort produces a specific result. We also need to know where to start, what is the first domino that we have the ability to knock down right now. 

And then we need consistency. It’s not the 2nd, 3rd, or even 10th domino that creates the outstanding, unbelievably massive result in your life. You need to keep at it consistently so that you get to the oversized results you are looking for.

This is the compound effect in action. It’s “the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices”. The power we need to achieve whatever we want is already within us. Our task is to figure out what those choices are for us and commit ourselves to them relentlessly.


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