Melvyn Tan
November 19, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

The Little Habits That Make A Huge Difference

[blockquote source=”James 3:4 (ISV)“]And look at ships! They are so big that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the helmsman directs.[/blockquote] Meeting John Maxwell About five years ago, when John Maxwell came to Singapore I decided that I had to invest in myself and attend […]

[blockquote source=”James 3:4 (ISV)“]And look at ships! They are so big that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the helmsman directs.[/blockquote]

Meeting John Maxwell
About five years ago, when John Maxwell came to Singapore I decided that I had to invest in myself and attend the session.

I enjoyed myself tremendously. I learned a great deal from the seminar, had my copy of Maxwell’s book signed (Leadership Gold), and met several really interesting individuals.

Everyday I…
One thing that I remembered vividly was a question from the audience who asked what was Maxwell’s secret in writing so many books. His answer was simply this. Everyday I read, everyday I write, and everyday I ask questions. And he mentioned that he does these three things every single day; on his birthday, on weekends, during vacation, and so on.

Then recently I read the book Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick, where in the chapter, “Capable”, he wrote:

[blockquote]John Maxwell is a make-it-happen leader. Other staff members and I used to kid him for working during a plane ride while the rest of us were sleeping. He’d prop his feet up and edit books with his glasses resting on the tip of his nose. John would slip the manuscript in his briefcase when he disembarked the plane, but it would come back out when he got into the car. There was never downtime with John. Whether on a plane or in a car or sitting in a green room waiting to speak, John was pushing ideas and projects forward.[/blockquote]

Little Habits
And then it struck me! To be successful, it’s not about the number of degrees you’ve earned, or the number of certificates you’ve obtained, or the number of years of experience you’ve gained. I mean, sure, these are important and having these will get you places. But whether or not it is sustainable depends on something that may appear to be insignificant at first, perhaps even something counter-intuitive or counter-productive. But ultimately it is these little habits are the ones that will make or break you.

Rudder of a Ship
And these small habits are, indeed, like the rudder of a ship that will steer you in the direction where you are heading.

Our Habits
So, what are some key habits of yours that have contributed to your success over the years? For me, it is my habit of reading. It is a habit that I’d wish I had cultivated a long time ago, but nonetheless it is a habit that have gave me tremendous success over the years.

Wise Sage – Lao Tzu
[blockquote]Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.[/blockquote]

Prayer
Father, we pray that You will give us the perseverance to develop and cultivate good and effective habits that while they may be small and insignificant in the current instance, will bring about compounding effect on our lives and that of others. In Christ name, Amen.