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Do you have any big ideas? Do you have any high hopes? Have you set any bold goals? Are there any aspirations floating around in your heart that seem so huge, you might as well be trying to reach the moon? Then, that’s your number 57.

 

I came across the most fascinating experiment in Gary Keller’s book The One Thing. A physicist, Lorne Whitehead, figured out a single domino can topple another domino 50 percent bigger. Apparently it’s physics, that’s why it took a physicist to figure this out. I’ve seen the schematic and I still don’t understand how it works. There is a geometric progression that makes it possible for one object to knock over another that is successively larger.

 

Keller describes the implications of this in the real world. Starting with a single, two-inch domino, the 10th domino would be as tall as Peyton Manning. The 18th would be as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The 23rd would be taller than the Eiffel Tower. The 31st would be over Mt. Everest. The 57th would get you to the moon.

 

I think all to-the-moon aspirations are like this. Bold goals are not reach in one swoop. It happens successively, sequentially, and incrementally, not simultaneously. Success is successive. If you’ve ever planned an event or constructed a project you’ve encountered this.

 

The reason many big ideas and high hopes are never achieved, is we don’t plan or have the patience for number 57.

 

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