The Secret to Achieving Big Goals – The Domino Strategy

Do you like to think BIG? Do you have exciting goals, aspirations, or dreams that you plan to achieve some day? I do too.

Big goals are exciting, but their size also makes them even more challenging. For example, if you want to someday achieve financial independence and live off of passive income, it’s hard to connect with that end result when you’re fighting just to keep your ahead above water financially right now.  The weight of the goal and its distance from current reality can make it overwhelming. 

I came across a very helpful idea from the book The One Thing, by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller (mega entrepreneur and co-founder of Keller-Williams Realty).  The idea says that big goals are like the final, big domino in a long series of smaller dominoes.  If you want to knock over the biggest domino, you have to start really small with the very first domino. 

The physics of dominoes is fascinating. One domino can knock over another domino about 150% its size. This means each successive domino can get bigger and bigger and bigger. How big? Well, the 13th domino could be 2 billion times bigger than the first in a series where each domino is 150% bigger than the last! 

To see this domino chain reaction principle in action, check out this video. I love the “boom” comment at about 56 seconds … LOL;).

This domino chain reaction strategy can be applied to our big goals. The key is to work backwards from our big goal and figure out how to stack up sub-goals into progressively smaller and more current steps until we come back to the next action right now.


Domino Goals - visual


While all steps are important, the biggest take away is that the domino RIGHT NOW is really the one thing that matters most. If you never tip over that first domino, you’ll never have the opportunity to knock over the rest.

So, if you can get into the habit of focusing on the next, most important action while also staying aligned with those big, future dominoes, you possess a process that can achieve enormous and important goals throughout your life.

Now the most important question is what are the dominoes in your life?  What are the areas that matter the most, like family, finances, career, health, and contribution? What achievements or stages of personal growth excite you (and scare you) by their audacity and size? What goals can you line up this year, this month, this week, today, and right now that will start moving you towards those big dominoes some day? 

I’d love to hear what you come up with in the comments section! Thanks for reading.

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