Change has a way of eluding most people because they believe that in order to change you have to eat the whole enchilada rather than have just one bite. Take dieting, for example. Some of the most grandiose plans go into the most short-lived dieting strategies which fail because the incremental steps are dismissed in favor of all or nothing goals. But, just one small change, the right one, can bring major life-changing results.
51-seconds seems like an infinitesimal bit of time. Yet, for the American R&B, soul and funk band Bloodstone, it changed their musical path and launched them into the charts. “Natural High” was the first single and title track from their London Records album of the song name released in 1972. When I edited “Natural High” from 4:53 to 4:02 in 1973 to garner airplay on time-restricted AM radio stations, the song skyrocketed to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #10 and to #4 on the Billboard R&B singles chart. The 51-seconds change turned out to be monumental in Bloodstone’s success.
That storm-strewn endogenous maelstrom we call our emotions can be calmed with “Just One Look,” as the lyrics of Doris Clark’s 1963 hit single exclaimed: “Just one look, that’s all it took” and “I fell so hard in love with you.”
As big as the world is, tiny things have changed the course of history. The failure of the tiny O-ring on the space shuttle Challenger led to a re-examination of the country’s space program and dashed people’s hopes and dreams. The Arab discovery of the zero (“0”) made modern mathematics possible. The invention of the printing press made mass education a reality. Security officer Frank Wills’ discovery of a piece of masking tape keeping a hotel room door unlocked led to the arrest of five men inside the Democratic National Committee’s office in the Washington D.C. Watergate building leading to an FBI investigation and the resignation of a president.
A tiny change can have massive creative and life-changing implications. Identify that one, small change you can make and do it. Focus all of your effort on it. Ignore the musical score and take laser focus on the one note of your life or career that moves you in a new direction.