Small Changes – Big Impact

Isn’t it funny the path that ideas can take to reach us?

Recently, I read a great article from Connor Neill that referenced an article from Derek Sivers which referenced an excerpt from the book Art and Fear.

The ceramics teacher announced he was dividing his class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right graded solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an A, 40 pounds a B, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an A.

Well, come grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity!

It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

I think this is great, and it reinforces the importance of making experiments.  The more experiments we make, the better.  We won’t be successful with each experiment, but we will learn from them.

Yet we are afraid to make “mistakes” when it comes to our money.  We continue making the same choices over and over and nothing changes.  We figure that one day we will make a big change when that raise comes through, when we pay off that loan, or when that long-lost relative is raptured and leaves us a fortune.

Are you making small changes to your spending habits, or looking for the one big thing that will make a breakthrough?

Small changes to your spending habits can have the big impact that you’re looking for.  You can find $200 per month in your budget, or you can find $50 per week.  Which sounds easier?

Start experimenting. You don’t have to swear an oath to never eat lunch out again. Commit to bringing lunch once a week.  You don’t have to save a huge amount.  Save 1% more than you’re saving now.  It may not allow you to retire tomorrow, but you’ll be in a better spot than you were yesterday.

I wrote previously about Thomas Edison’s quote “All our mistakes are burned up.  Thank God, we can start anew.

Give yourself permission to experiment and make some mistakes.  Learn from them, and start anew.