When Virgin Airlines discovered its first domino
The August of 1990 was that part of the famous British businessman – Sir Richard Branson’s life, when he had to make a choice between the two options he had: to sell Virgin Music (his record company) or to close Virgin Airlines (his airline company), the initial two companies that he started. Virgin Music was doing wonders, but Virgin Airlines was making hefty losses (owing to the dominant British Airways at that time). And, that is why the bankers wanted Sir Richard to sell Virgin Music to cover the loans they had given for Virgin Airlines, if he wanted to keep Virgin Airlines alive.
During that time, Iraq had invaded Kuwait, and about 150 thousand refugees had crossed into Jordan. A lot of people started dying due to the lack of food and shelter facilities, and a lot of British people in Jordan were left stranded. Immediately, Sir Richard spoke to the Queen of Jordan and offered help. Without worrying about the losses he was incurring, he ordered the Virgin Airlines staff to get some help ready.
In 2 days, he sent one of his airplanes to Jordan with 40 thousand blankets, tons of rice and medical supplies, and had it return with the stranded Britishers. When he came to know that his supplies did not reach the refugees, he himself flew to Jordon, argued with a minister and got the help to move to the refugee camps.
Saddam Hussein, the then President of Iraq, had also taken a lot of Britishers as hostages. Sir Richard, along with the help of the King of Jordan, flew to Iraq. Risking his own life, he got the British hostages to safety and left Iraq.
And guess what? After this selfless act of Sir Richard Branson, everything started to fall in its place. Virgin Airlines started making huge money and all the debt was covered. And Virgin Airlines now is a very strong competitor to the British Airways, internationally.
The Domino Effect
The domino effect (also known as a chain reaction) is defined as a cumulative effect produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events. Everyone has seen the dominoes fall. Just knock over the first domino and the chain starts, knocking over all the others to follow. But, did you know that one regular sized domino can knock over a chain of progressively larger dominoes?
This experiment was first conducted in 1980s when a physicist successfully knocked over a line of dominoes where the following domino was 1.5 times larger than the preceding one. And guess what? Starting with a domino of the size of a fingernail, the 29th in the series would be as tall as the Empire State building.
Now, what is the correlation between the Domino Effect and your success?
Just like the last domino in the chain, your success is also a result of sequential events. Gary Keller in his book – The One Thing (where I first read about the Domino Effect) has very effectively spelled out the domino metaphor to showcase the path to extraordinary success. He says, “When you line up your dominoes correctly, it’s actually the smallest thing that does the most.”
So, how do you use the Domino Effect to get to your success?
First of all, you have to determine your first domino, i.e., your first step. And, this first step of yours should be such that it lands you in a play-field to take a larger leap towards your goal. This first step is often a very small act, but it opens up a wide horizon for you to take effective further action towards your success. But, you cannot keep waiting until the correct first step strikes your brain. Just get into action, and try all possible things that possibly get you going towards your destination, until you find the right path.
Once you take the first step, it is important for you to line up your actions in an appropriate sequence. With each action that you take, you gather so much momentum that you are ready to take a succeeding bigger action. Within a short time, you’ll start achieving your daily goals, then weekly goals, and your monthly, yearly, and 5-yearly goals will soon be accomplished.
At times, you might trip on taking the succeeding action and might have to start all over again. But, you are one person who doesn’t give up so easily, do you? Because each time you fall down, you get back up and fight back harder.
And, it won’t be long before you knock down your biggest obstacle to achieve what you desired of achieving someday, the ultimate glory of success.