Hello and good day!
You've probably heard the expression by Archimedes "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world."
With leverage, small inputs, say the physical strength of a single human, Archimedes in this case, can produce a massively amplified output, in this case moving the entire earth.
Also, maybe you've heard of Pareto's Law which states that roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes. This is also sometimes referred to as the 80/20 rule.
The reason I bring these things up is to point out that some actions have a much bigger impact than others, even though both may take the same amount of time and require the same amount of effort.
Given 5 hours, one person might do some yard work that has been backing up on them, while somebody else might go down and volunteer at the local children's hospital.
Both require a fair amount of effort. Both are important. The yard work is probably more strictly necessary than volunteering. However, if you spend 5 hours volunteering at the children's hospital, the long term productivity is probably much greater than the yard work.
After all, when you mow the lawn, the grass grows right back.
But if you help out 10 people at a hospital, several of those folks are likely to remember you for a good long while thereafter. And your kindness will lead them to treat other people kindly. A pay it forward process kicks off which can lead to exponentially expanding acts of kindness.
You do something really nice for 5 people. The good feelings and memories lead those 5 to do something good for 5 more people each. Now you have indirectly touched 25 people.
In that case, you have an activity with leverage.
In chocolate making, the big, big leverageable activity is learning how to ferment properly. If you have a rock solid fermentation process, you can run thousands or millions of tons of cacao through it over the years and your chances of making delicious chocolate are increased greatly.
Poor fermentation dooms you.
It took us about 2 years of practice to figure out our fermentation process. But now it is locked in and it is ours forever more. Those two years have allowed us to make delicious chocolate for tens of thousands of people over the course of the last thirteen years and we can keep going for a long time into the future.
Something happened to me yesterday that highlighted one of the most leverageable activities in the world. I was out doing what I normally do in the afternoons. I was out and about promoting our shops.
To be honest, it can be a bit monotonous at times. I keep offering free hot chocolate over and over again to everybody I meet. It takes discipline to keep doing the same thing over and over day in and day out.
I think this is a big part of the reason why losing weight can be so hard.
It isn't that you couldn't stick to the routine. It is just that eating the same healthy food and going to the gym gets boring after a few weeks. But I am willing to do whatever needs to be done for the good of the company, so I soldier on. Most days I really love it. Some days I need a pick me up.
So I was out there with a sign that had all the details about the free hot chocolate in our shops, when a wonderful customer and local reader of this daily email came up to me and introduced herself.
She told me that she loves our chocolate and that she very much enjoys these emails as well. It only took her about ten seconds to say that, maybe even less.
But I'll tell you what... I was energized for the rest of the day and I woke up feeling good about it the next day too.
Kind words and compliments are powerful.
Five or ten seconds to compliment somebody on something they care about can have an outsized impact, and it is so easy. The key though is to hit somebody right in the heart.
My best friend's mom growing up loved to cook and she was always experimenting with new recipes. Her kids were a bit spoiled with her cooking and they sometimes griped about her new dishes.
However, both my parents were entrepreneurs and worked a lot. I ate a lot of microwave meals prepared by baby sitters.
From time to time, my parents did some excellent cooking, but it was infrequent.
That made me a perfect house guest at my best friend's house. Whatever new thing she cooked up and was excited about, I was going to love it. I was not and I still am not a picky eater. I've always been glad to take any home cooked meal that comes my way.
At my friend's house I took second and third servings of dinner while my friend and his siblings sat dabbling around the edges of the food with their forks.
To this day, I vividly remember looking up from my plate at my best friend's mom, and she would be sitting there beaming. She was so pleased that somebody appreciated what she was passionate about.
Then came the coup de grâce question. She already knew the answer, but she wanted to hear it spoken out loud.
"Adam, what did you think of the food?"
After scraping up the last remaining residue off the plate with the edge of my fork and sucking the fork clean, I would look up at her and say "This is the best meal I've ever had and you are the best cook I know."
And I meant it!
She could have floated off her chair and right up into heaven in that moment, it made her so happy. And it didn't take much on my part to give her that happiness.
Just a small targeted compliment towards the spot where it would mean the most. I have to admit something. Sometimes it is hard for me to squeeze out a compliment.
I've had a humdinger of a compliment on the tip of my tongue many times that I knew the recipient would love to hear.
But for whatever reason, maybe because of timidity or fear or maybe even resentment because I had an argument with the person the compliment was for, I had a hard time bringing myself to spit that lovely compliment out.
Or maybe I felt I was too busy, which is pretty lame cop out for not doing something that takes 10 seconds.
I promise you that 100% of the times when I overcame whatever was holding me back, and I said the nice thing that was in heart, my words were greatly appreciated. If you want to do something that will make somebody's day today, just think about them for a minute and try to figure out what really makes them tick.
Then hit them with some kind words on that subject and you will see how easy and powerful it is.
Thank you so much for your time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!