Like millions of other Americans, I worked at an office job. It paid my bills and allowed me to live a reasonably comfortable life. I had been at the job for about ten years.
At my job, I got work in the form of cases. Each case was work from a different client, and it came in the form of a folder of papers that were typically a half inch thick (though some bigger cases might be several inches thick). The work was never-ending. When I finished a batch of cases, a new batch came in. I got a new batch of 3-5 cases about every month or two. Each batch of cases was bound with an extra-long beige rubber band.
Shortly after beginning the job, I started a practice of binding the rubber bands into a ball. Every month or two when I got a new rubber band, I would add to the ball. I would get 10-20 of them each year, and they would all go into the ball.
After about three years, people began to notice the big rubber band ball on my desk. It became a conversation piece when people stopped by my office.
After a decade of growing the ball, I’ve come to think of it in more symbolic terms.
My big rubber band ball represents consistency and the power of small gains over a long period of time.
When you just start something new, it always starts with nothing. Nobody cares. Those efforts in the beginning appear insignificant. But if you keep putting in effort consistently over a long period of time, your efforts eventually become significant. It is no longer nothing. Then one day somebody takes notice and it becomes your conversation piece. Then when you grow it consistently for a long enough time, everybody starts to notice.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is often from nothing. Each day, put in some effort towards your grand goal. Be consistent for a long time, then someday the thing that started from nothing will be something great.