Many subscribe to some version of the “Big Secret” theory of life.

The big secret theory is that there are short cuts, bags of tricks, special insider knowledge, that the successful know and others don’t. Some key that the wealthy and powerful possess that unlocks a life of limitless abundance. Most might deny they think this way, but if you observe people, their actions (or inactions) usually belie their words.

The big secret theory of life is magical thinking, and it is patent nonsense. It is worse than useless because it diverts people’s efforts and attention, distracts them from taking meaningful actions to propel their lives forward to their greatest potential. Instead it dissipates their energy and focus while they chase mythical pots of gold at the end of ever-distant rainbows.

You want to know the big secret of life? You ready? Sitting down?

The big secret of life is that it is a thousand and one small secrets.

Yep, that’s it. Sorry if you were expecting more.

But you got more than you may realize. The concept of small secrets is a real gem. A diamond in the rough if the analogy pleases you.

Small secret: Show up each and every day; do the best you can.

Small secret: Nurture yourself, love yourself, believe in you, and give yourself a day off when you need one. Moderation in all things including moderation.

Small secret: Intelligent persistence pays rich dividends.

Small secret: Be a life-long learner. You are the CEO of your life. Invest in yourself.

Small secret: You are responsible (Response-able) for your life. No one else; you are free to make decisions, you are not free to choose the consequences of those decisions.

Small secret: The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. Many of your limitations are self-imposed.

Small secret: In large measure, you are the five people you spend the most time with; chose your companions wisely.

Small secret: Have a plan for your life, written goals with action plans and target dates for all major roles of your life. An ordinary man with a plan will usually beat a genius without a plan.

It takes discipline and dedication to turn your back on the siren call of quick fixes. It takes true, rock-steady commitment to continuously concentrate on the mundane details of daily execution and have faith that the cumulative impact will be worth the effort. None of these “small secrets” are grand or glorious or glamorous. Nor do they work instantly, they all require dedication and constant repetition to bear fruit. But, unlike magical thinking, they do work.

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier