It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.

What's the meaning of this quote?

Quote Meaning: The quote reminds us that success is often the result of small, consistent actions over time. It highlights the importance of persistence, dedication, and hard work in achieving our goals. This quote encourages us to focus on the small, everyday actions we can take to move closer to our goals, rather than waiting for some big opportunity to come along. It reminds us that it's the accumulation of small actions that ultimately leads to success and separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.

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Who said the quote?

The quote, 'It's not the big things that add up in the end; it's the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.' was said in the book The Compound Effect (Summary / Quotes) by Darren Hardy. Darren Hardy is an author and speaker who has focused on personal and professional development, particularly in the areas of goal-setting, productivity, and leadership.

What's the quote's message?

The quote highlights the importance of consistently making small efforts toward achieving our goals. Often we tend to focus on the big things and the major achievements in our lives. We measure success by how much we earn or how many accolades we receive. However, the big things in life are often the result of a series of small actions and decisions made over a long period.

For instance, an athlete doesn't win a gold medal by showing up at the Olympics and giving it their all on the day of the event. Instead, they train for months and years, pushing themselves every day, and making small improvements in their performance. Similarly, a successful entrepreneur or investor doesn't become a millionaire overnight. They work tirelessly, taking small steps each day, building their network, refining their product, and improving their marketing.

It's the accumulation of these small efforts that makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. Small habits and routines, when done consistently over time, can compound and lead to significant results. For example, reading a few pages of a book each day can lead to finishing dozens of books in a year. Similarly, saving a small amount of money each week can add up to a substantial amount over time.

Successful people understand the power of consistent, incremental progress. They prioritize their time and energy towards activities that align with their goals, even if they seem small or insignificant at the time.

Is there a historical example that illustrates the message of the quote?

In the mid-20th century, amidst the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, a young African-American woman named Rosa Parks made a seemingly small decision that would have an extraordinary impact on the fight against racial segregation and discrimination. Rosa's refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, sparked a chain of events that ignited a nationwide movement for equality.

At first glance, Rosa's act of defiance may appear insignificant when compared to the larger struggle against systemic racism. However, it was precisely these countless "little things" that accumulated over time and separated the ordinary from the extraordinary. Rosa's courageous stand challenged the unjust norms of the time and inspired others to join the cause.

Following Rosa's arrest, the African-American community in Montgomery rallied together, organizing a citywide bus boycott that lasted for over a year. The boycott involved thousands of individuals who, day after day, walked long distances, carpooled, or utilized alternative means of transportation to protest segregation on public buses.

This seemingly small act of resistance reverberated throughout the country, capturing the attention of civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and galvanizing the broader movement. The Montgomery Bus Boycott became a turning point in the struggle for civil rights, demonstrating the power of collective action and the significance of those "little things" in shaping history.

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The boycott's success led to a Supreme Court ruling declaring racial segregation on public transportation unconstitutional, paving the way for further desegregation efforts in the years that followed. Rosa Parks' seemingly small act of defiance had become an extraordinary catalyst for change, illustrating the profound impact that countless small actions can have when they converge towards a common goal.

This historical example serves as a reminder that it is not solely the grand gestures or monumental events that shape our world. It is the accumulation of small, everyday acts of courage, resilience, and determination that have the power to transform societies and create extraordinary change. Each small step forward, when taken collectively, can overcome even the most formidable obstacles and redefine what is possible.

* Want to explore more inspiring quotes and their meanings? Head over to this quotes page, where you can find more thought-provoking quotes and their interpretations.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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