Making the most of microcosms

A microcosm is just a small version of something much larger. It’s usually very similar in the most important regards, but much simpler.

Kindergarten, for instance, is a microcosm of college (the macrocosm).

You couldn’t drop off a kid in college and expect them to do well. They must first survive a number of preparatory microcosms, each one progressively more difficult, before they’re ready for the largest educational institute we have to offer.

Superbowl champions don’t start with Superbowl games. They start with practice (usually at a very young age).

To do something big, try working up to it by degrees.

Find or manufacture microcosms of your larger challenge. Smaller challenges that are similar in key ways. Look at your larger goal and deconstruct the strengths, skills, and abilities you know you’ll need to succeed, and then take on those components individually, in smaller, more manageable, less risky settings. Make them harder and harder as you progress.

As you begin to win on small levels, you’ll become increasingly prepared to win on a much larger level.

With each microcosmic success you’ll build strength, you’ll build skills, you’ll build experience, and most importantly, you’ll build confidence.

The confidence you build by taking the microcosm approach will become the foundation for your life. Each success adds a brick to your ever-growing confidence foundation.

That confidence foundation will keep you motivated to achieve ever larger goals, and reach ever greater heights, and will help you persevere when times are tough.

If you want to win big, try winning small first.


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  1. […] The power of microcosms (see also Microcosms make you stronger | Controlled failure – how to fail on your terms) […]

  2. […] Making the most of microcosms (how to use microcosms to achieve large objectives) Controlled Failure (how to fail on your terms) […]

  3. […] is a fringe benefit of the microcosm approach to accomplishment, explained here. First, you deconstruct a larger goal, vision, or objective into smaller components. Then create […]

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