FOCUS: Little by Little

Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Systems Thinking, Team Learning

Little by little one walks far
Peruvian Proverb

Getting Things Done

I am collecting information for my taxes. A task I resist. So I’ve tried to do it a tiny piece at a time, sneakily getting it done almost without knowing it. And it’s working. They will be ready for the accountant tomorrow! Almost anything can be done little by little. A little one day, a little next, and before you know it, you’re done. You can read a book 10 pages at a time, sort through old boxes little by little, or become fit one exercise at a time.


We also learn little by little. I’ve been taking watercolor painting lessons for just over a year. I know a lot more now than I did when I started. Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper, I know a number of things to do that will result in a painting…..I have some techniques, some tools, some experiences to build on. Recovering alcoholics have known this concept for eons. How do you stay sober? One day at a time!



Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little,

 day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.


Change also happens little by little. It’s true for a perennial garden. The first couple of years the plants are small and sparse. Yearn for a lush garden full of blooms, and add more perennials. Sure enough, slowly, year by year, they mature into an amazing splash of color and texture, overflowing the space. The same is true of change in us. I’ve known a particular friend of mine and her husband for over 30 years. When I think of how much they have both changed, it is amazing. They used to be quite negative and unhappy. They consciously embarked on a spiritual path to which they both felt called. The change in them individually and as a couple is remarkable. Today they are calm, happy, optimistic. And it happened little by little. AND they’re still growing.


In almost every sphere of life, things happen, things are accomplished, we learn and change….not overnight, but little by little. It requires patience. Truly embracing this little by little reality may well be what we need to do to be happier with both ourselves and others.


Sometimes we can jumpstart the little by little path with some juicy motivation. I’ve just booked a walking tour in Ireland with my daughter Lisa for the fall. Watch me get fitter – little by little!


Coaching Questions

  1. Where have you put off taking action that you really want to take?
  2. How could you do it little by little?
  3. What do you want to change about yourself?
  4. How could you do it little by little?
  5. What will serve as a juicy motivator?
  6. When will you start?



Please join me for a 45-minute telegathering to explore this notion of doing things little by little more deeply Tuesday, March 25, at noon Eastern (11:00 a..cenntral, 10:00 a.m. MT, 9:00 a.m. Pacific)  1-218-862-1300 PIN 276583.  No need to register….just call at that time!

Reach me: 1-888-907-HOPE (4673)or e-mail I am a personal and executive coach and would be happy to offer you a complimentary coaching session by phone. Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

Sharon Eakes | 720 Maple Lane | Sewickley, PA 15143

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720 Maple Lane, Sewickley, PA 15143
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