When I was a kid me and a couple friends discovered the secret of making a snowman.
Growing up in an area without snow, we would go on these field trips in elementary school.
If you could find a gentle downward slope, and the right kind of sticky snow, you could get a pretty huge ball.
As soon as we “discovered” this “secret” we started coming up with wild imaginations.
Like making a ball as big as a city, that would roll down and wipe out civilization.
Of course, this metaphor is pretty common.
Not the wiping out the city part, the “snowball effect” part.
Where you put in a lot of effort at the beginning, and then the momentum of the system is enough to keep it going.
You can see it in a lot of places if you’re looking.
Crowd behavior, viral videos and social media posts.
They start slow, but they can multiply very quickly.
But it’s really cool when it happens to you, in a personal way.
Take exercise for example. Most people realize they should do more.
Long time ago, I started jogging. At first, it sucked.
Got tired quickly. Was sore. Shin splints.
I saw it purely as a means to an end. I wanted to shrink my gut. So I figured I’d have to put in work, to get the results.
But once I started getting into shape, something interesting happened.
Instead of seeing the jogging part as “work,” or a means to an end, it became an end in and of itself.
Because I was getting in pretty decent shape, my thoughts could actually wander while I was out jogging.
And for about twenty or thirty minutes every day, I was in a pretty cool state of mind.
That SAME activity turned from a means to an end, into a end to a greater end.
This is the crux of all snowball effects.
When the momentum of the “system” kicks in, and starts to become self-sustaining.
Because we are humans, and we always need to be moving, and eating, and sleeping, we can’t really switch ourselves into autopilot mode.
BUT when the tasks required to build a decent life for yourself (studying, practicing skills, journaling, talking to strangers, speaking in public, etc.) become ENDS instead of MEANS, that’s when the magic happens.
That’s when you start to feel alive. On purpose.
That’s when people will ask you, “man, what drives you?” And you won’t really know.
It will just FEEL right. Good. Natural.
It takes a while to get there, but when you do, there will be NO stopping you.