Great things have small beginnings!

To listen to the audio version of this blog, click here.

There’s a new study that just came out from Harvard and Stanford that is pretty awesome.

It basically shows that small, incremental steps towards a goal are far more powerful at creating sustainable happiness than huge lofty goals. This breaks down into a simple idea that I first learned from Tony Robbins, which is that PROGRESS = HAPPINESS.

Simple progress.

Not huge lofty goals.

But progress.

That means, daily progress. It doesn’t have to be huge. It doesn’t have to be grand, just simple daily progress.

I love this – because I believe in simple small acts of progress AND I believe in huge lofty goals. For a long time in my life, I was only SO focused on the huge lofty goals that I didn’t make small steps. And then there was also a time when I was SO focused on small steps that I had forgotten the huge lofty dream. And I believe we need both. A BIG dream and small achievable goals.

AND – I know I say this A LOT, but it still needs to be said… the goal and the dream if you want the power of The Uni-verse to support it, must be OF SERVICE and SOLVE OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS.

This is the key. But, you see – it’s very hard to solve “world peace” and much more manageable to think a peaceful thought. And guess what… world peace begins in your mind. It’s the accumulation of many small steps that create movements, epic outcomes and grand ideas to come into manifestation.

So, put your lofty dreams on your vision board… but then think – what is a SMALL STEP I can take in that direction? Instead of losing 100 pounds… can I lose 2? Instead of making 100,000 dollars, can I make $1000 more than I am now? Or $500? Because you need to pass $500 on the way to $1000 and $1000 on the way to $100,000. If you want to make peace in the world, can you start with your own mind and then your friends, family and community?

My daily lover, please – always – dream lofty dreams. But let us GROUND those dreams, those goals and those desires in SERVICE to others and with one small step at a time.

What small step can you take today?

As always, the action happens in the comments below. Leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!





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  • Holly

    Thank you Mastin, love this one!

  • I can definitely agree that this is true. I have my vision board and I look at it daily. I leave those dreams for the law of abundance to work out for me and I believe they will happen. But, I can tell you that every day that I write feels like I have changed the world. It may not be that for everyone and I don’t even share all that I do with everyone, but for me it is a huge accomplishment because I can remember when I wouldn’t give myself permission to do the things that make me happy. I love what I am doing. It feels like I am honoring the Creator by taking my experiences and using them to create and serve. Thanks for another great post, Mastin. 

  • I’m with you there Mastin. Small steady progress wins everytime. If you always focus on the big picture you can get overwhelmed and never achieve anything. That’s why I break everything down into chunk size bits and work through my schedule one by one. It’s a great way of staying postive, feeling like you’re progressing and on course without getting down because the big picture still feels so far away. It just makes me enjoy life a lot more.

  • Liza Lake

    Loved your post! Thank you Mastin! Keep up the great work. You are such an inspiration to me:-)

  • Betsy Smith

    So true!  The CEO of my company wrote a book called The Slight Edge that is about just that concept.  Small steps taken consistently over time make up who you are.  Many times those little choices are so small we don’t feel the benefit or the pain for a day, week, even a month…but in a year, wow.  You can be a different person.  One thing we teach is read 10 pages of some personal development book EVERY day.  Not much but over a year, what a difference.  

    Thanks for all you do!  

  • I love this. Thank you so much for this. It is true that taking daily steps towards our goals, making progress in this direction is what makes us happy. I will make the vision board, and I will take steps each day toward my lofty goals! 🙂

  • Patti

    Will you reccomnd a good book or stategy on goal setting?  I would like to start the New Year fresh with a reasonable running chance at success.  I find that my dreams are HUGE and my steps falter.  I don’t know how to manage the steps in smaller increments – but large enough to make progress.  Thank you for the good morning thought provoking post!

    • Ms. Pillowz

      I would recommend Tony Robbins – Unleash the Power Within.  It is really great for helping you strategize and achieve.  Brian Tracy has great books about goals and strategy as well.  Good luck!

  • d Mpshe

    I have decided to open my own jewellery manufacturing company at last.I’m in the process of going through a second retrenchment in two years.The universe is telling me that it’s the right time and I’m praying that the holy spirit will guide me on which steps to take and connect me to the right people.Thank you for the motivation:-)

  • I love this post Mastin. What a huge eye opener. I have been focused on the BIG goal for well over a year now and have failed to take small daily steps to reach that big goal. Thanks for bringing me back to the daily actions. By the way, I hope your enjoying every moment at Date with Destiny. 

  • Jenny

    How can you turn your goal of losing weight into one that the Universe will support if the Universe supports goals that are ” OF SERVICE and SOLVE OTHER PEOPLES PROBLEMS.” I am having trouble seeing how such a personal goal could ever be of service to others.  Any tips?

    • Misty

      Your struggle with weight loss and the journey you go thru in order to stick with a plan may very well motivate another to do the same!

    • Mastin

      who will u be ome for those u love? what would being i. shape alllow u to do? and be? would being in shape allow you to live your purpose even more?

    • It’s the whole “You have to put the oxygen mask on you before assisting those around you” phenomenon.  FIRST you have to be happy with you and be the best YOU you can be, before you can be of real service to others.  That’s why!  🙂   Best of luck and love to you!!  You can do it!  Remember, it’s NOT selfish to do for yourself what you need.  It’s not selfish to be happy and healthy and successful!  Because the better YOU feel, the more you’ll feel inclined to do for others. 

    • Wendy

      I heard, somewhere, that the Universe wants you to take care of yourself.  
      Coming from someone who took care of everyone BUT herself for years, I can attest to the fact that when you take care of yourself, you ARE doing a service to others.  That is because you have enough within you to give.  You can only give from your excess, not the other way around.  So your joy and caring of yourself trickles over to joy and caring for others.  

      Think about people who don’t take care of themselves, and instead of taking personal responsibility, they blame others.  It’s a pretty common affliction.  Those are not the folks who you’d go to for support, of any sort.  Then contrast that with people who take good care of themselves, and find it easy to also give as well.  Those are the people you naturally gravitate toward.  Believe it or not, YOU have within you the ability to love yourself unconditionally.  

      Once you do that, weight lose is secondary, because you’re doing the right thing by yourself.  It is actually a selfless thing to practice self care, not a selfish thing.  Selfish is when you fail to think of your impact on others.  Once you see that NOT caring for yourself negatively impacts others, then you’ll have not trouble at all switching it around.  A great metaphor for this is a mother putting the oxygen mask on herself first, then her children, should there be an emergency on an airplane.  What good is she to her children if she is passed out?  This applies to weight loss too, because you’re caring for yourself, be it in any capacity, you are caring for others!  Just a different perspective…

  • Wendy Scott

    I love Jenny’s comment, in addition to Mastin’s blog post.  I believe that if say you, or I find a way to live better, and that includes being kind enough to yourself that you are healthy and therefore losing weight as a result of that love and kindness toward yourself, then sharing that with others helps not only me, but them as well.  I had a coworker recently ask me how I’d managed to lose 25 pounds and my answer was getting right with myself.  I gave her examples, but I could see that it got her thinking.  If I am at peace with myself, then I am at peace with others, and it can even help me continue to lose the additional 25 pounds I set as a goal for myself.  Kindness begets kindness, in my book.

  • I really like this post! I can relate about focusing too much on lofty dreams and/or small steps. I agree we need both!

  • “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-Zip-A-Dee-A! My, Oh My What A Wonderful Day!”  It has been exactly one week since Mastin Kipp offered me to do a test blog on his site. My first audition if you will. The thing was…I hadn’t heard from him.  The Universe gave me a GREAT opportunity to practice my God given patience. The opportunity to continue with my “small steps” and “Lofty dream.” So, I did. I continued to comment daily on his site. I continued to go to my Living Love Classes. I continued to serve my community. And, I was given the opportunity to serve love to my  “Archie Bunker” dad. He called me up on Monday and said sternly, “I have a problem with you and Kirk (My hubby) and would like to speak with you!”  Yesterday was the day for me to be BIG, show up, and not buy into his antics. We sat at the table of four overlooking our favorite Oak Tree in America. My mom-passive. Kirk-doing his best. Me-breathing. “All In The Family,” at it’s best. I knew it was going to be about money. After-all he survived the Blitz in London and The Depression in Ireland. He is 87. He started, “WHY HAVEN’T YOU PAID OFF THE HOUSE IN SAN DIEGO. YOU SHOULD HAVE  PAID IT OFF BY NOW! WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH YOUR MONEY? YOU HAVE BLOWN IT. YOU WILL NOT RETIRE AT 50.” He tells himself that he has a “say-so” in our affairs. Why? Because he had given us money for our wedding gift to help us with the down payment. The HOOK is now showing itself…10 years later!  He screamed. He yelled. He attempted to belittle. And, I….for the first time…created compassion for him. In the moment. Because I know that I AM ENOUGH! He did not hurt my feelings. I did not give him permission. I did not throw away my peace. Because I stayed in my heart space, I continued to love him. To see his innocence. His fear. His spirit behind the mask. His inner child…begging to be seen. I DID IT. I saw him for who he really is and DID not upset myself. I created a bridge with him! After the attempted brow beating-we all had a bowl of steaming hot, home-made veggie soup together. “The house?” It’s still not paid off. And, I am FREE!!!!!  Last night, I tweeted Mastin.  “What’s UP? (not my exact words)” This morning…he responded. To me! A stay at home mom. I will be writing a test blog very soon. Since I know, God works in numbers…I am asking you to PLEASE send your loving vibes my way. You are that powerful. Thank you.  Thank you Mastin. And, “YES”…it is all about the “Small Steps” and “Lofty Dreams.” This I know for sure. The Daily Commenter, Kathleen

  • Jennmarut

    This was amazing Mastin. So what I needed to hear today and so beautifully put. Thanks for all you do!

  • Thank you for this, Mastin. It is so true and I can feel it was written from your heart. Such a beautiful message, take the small steps everyday and trust the rest is unfolding.

  • MarisolT

    I’ve been a reader for about a month or so and this is my first comment ever :). Although I always relate to most posts, today’s been special because this was exactly what I was thinking on my way to work.
     I started yoging and meditating last summer and it has helped me a lot. However, lately I’ve received comments of  the people I love about some negative changes in my behavior. I know I am on the right track, I know that, finally, I’m looking for the real me and after all these years I’m starting to knowing the real me. I see so many things different now… and maybe this conflict comes from me being aware of many things my friends and family aren’t, you know, things like not being resentful, letting things go, living the present…   So, as I was on my way to work, I thought “maybe I am not doing something right because the message is not being transmitted … Maybe I need to find a way to make my dream to serve others…” And then I saw Mastin’s tweet with today’s post and voila! Synchrodestiny, anyone?

  • Damascus Girl

    Interesting post.  I’ve never had a real relationship and I am now in my 40s.  When I was 36, I decided to make that my new goal, because deep down in my heart I wanted someone to love, a family of my own, and children.  It was a new experience for me as I had never really dated before.  So I started dating, and most of my dates ended after 1 or 2 meetings.  Here I am 8 years later, and for the last 2 years almost no dates at all, and I’m at the end of my child-bearing years, and I am quite lonely even though I have a few friends.    Yeah, I’m the one with the good career, do lots of volunteer work, exercise, etc — all the things women are supposed to do if they are lonely, right?  That’s me!  Except that I have never had the opportunity to love or be loved by a man.

    I started small, with a very clear goal.  Yes, the hour was late.  I had my vision board.  I dreamed big.  I knew it would take a few years.  But I guess I really was not prepared for what ultimately happened.
    It hurts.

  • I love this one!  My small step today:  I made a new post (my 2nd so far) on my blog.  🙂  I also worked on editing a chapter in my latest novel.  One blog post and one chapter at a time. 
    I’ve also been paralyzed by my lofty goals.  But I totally agree that the small steps matter and are, in fact, the only way to REACH the lofty goals!  

    One of my favorite stories is the Starfish story.  If you’re not familiar, I’ll summarize as briefly as I can:  A little boy/girl is walking along the beach after a high tide and one by one, throwing starfish that have washed up on the beach back into the water.  Then an older man/woman approaches the little boy and says, “There are thousands of starfish up and down this beach.  You’ll never be able to save them all.”  And the little child picks up another starfish, throws it back into the ocean, and says, “I saved that one.”

    It’s true that every little thing we do DOES make a difference.  Speaking personally, I’m passionate about the environment and animals.  I’m SUPER vigilant about recycling and it drives me MAD to see people not recycle.  I’ve even been known to pick stuff out of trash cans and take it home to recycle it!  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, like “What’s the point?”  Then I get another plastic bottle and remind myself that all I can do is the best I can do.  I can recycle THIS bottle that I picked up off the street.  The same with animals.  I can’t save ALL the animals, but I can make a difference to the ones I work with at the animal shelter I volunteer at.  There are too many dogs for one person to walk in a day, in that shelter.  I used to feel sad by this.  But now I feel happy knowing that in the 3 or so hours that I was there, I was able to make the day of the dogs I spent time with that much better. 

    Focus on the moment and just do the best you can with where your heart pulls you.

  • Moyleshire

    I keep being surprised by small beautiful acts of kindness and how easily they bring tears to my eyes and a flood of emotion. The joy of being a mother, the grounding of loving others and reading words that inspire my heart into opening like a blossom feels like what some call, Heaven on Earth. Thank you.

  • janet

    Love this part, as I begin a new business venture ……   🙂
    AND – I know I say this A LOT, but it still needs to be said… the goal and the dream if you want the power of The Uni-verse to support it, must be OF SERVICE and SOLVE OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS.www.PureLivingBoutique.comOne stop shopping for the Purist.

  • Mylene Deveau

    Big and small. Progress… Something I try to remember everyday. I am a life coach. One day I’ll have plenty of clients I’ll help lose weight and simplify their life. That will bring me freedom for my son and I. Today, I coach myself, try to uncover the causes of why I still resist to go running. I am also aware of my thoughts especially when i eat or think about my business. All this help me TODAY…and I know will help me help others. This post reminded me of the saying “we become what we repeatly do”. Since most of our days is spent doing small things that add up… Aren’t we better off doing those who leads us in the directions of our big dream! ?!

  • Beccasue10

    Thank you so much for the reminder of the small steps needed in life… I read “The Daily Step” on Gary Heine’s facebook page to help me stay in check.  With the combination of your blog and Gary’s thoughts… my day always starts off great.  Thank you for this blog!  It is one of my favorite things.  Here is a link to Gary’s page if you ever want to check it out.!/gary.heine.90

  • Richard Bates

    Ahh…progress….evolution, development…better known as growth… I have a daily commitment to it and I continue to move forward in a positive fashion…. being created by my creator…I’m process of a personal movement myself where I make my first vision board, and I just signed up for twitter and Im going to track my progress of my growth as I take on meditation and prayer more intensly than I have in my life so far. Ive been doing it regularly but Im going to spend more time focusing on how to try to grow in these areas…I’ll be coming here and letting you know how it goes…Im also starting my own blog…I’ll be signing up for your classes as well…yes…LIFE through more action more open-mindedness and more willingness.  I signed up with Twitter and the daily love, and following my favorite spiritual gurus, and downloaded some apps to my iphone to begin this reach for more “progress”… Im just finishing up my undergrad…I’ll have my degree in two weeks God Willing, and now I’ll have all this time on my hands to Stalk all my spiritual leaders and what they are doing online…HERE I COME MASTIN… I just got a new job where I am making more money so I can sign up for your classes….I’m so excited… Im ready for more of you God…Im coming for you life… Im reaching for you self… Now in the Now, I’m choosing the small steps Im taking…pray for me as I pray for you… I just learned two days ago that spirit comes from the word spiritus in Latin meaning breath… As I take these small steps I breath and I am spirit… GOD BLESS, Im so excited!!!!    

  • Emily Drake

    I love this, and agree. But I’m confused about how when my goal is losing weight (physically, of course, but with that comes emotional and spiritual weight too), that I am somehow being of service and helping to solve other people’s problems. I see a disconnect there. And I struggle with that. Am I not getting it? Isn’t losing weight just for me? Isn’t my spiritual development just for me? How do those goals and dreams involve others?