Tulln Domino Team from Austria built the longest domino wall on 22 March 2016 in Tulln, Austria. This wall made from Dominos was 40.14 metres long and was made of 42,173 dominoes, and it involved 22 people in its construction. The falling dominos lasted for over six minutes. While it is a treat to watch the fantastic effects created by falling dominos, it is absolutely a nightmare to build such a domino wall. By triggering just one domino, it leads to a chain reaction of falling dominoes. This effect is known as the Domino Effect.
The famous painter Pablo Picasso created his masterpiece Guernica, which is exhibited in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid. Guernica is so unique that it regarded by many art critics as one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history. This painting is a symbol of the Spanish Civil War and at first, it appears like the result of a sudden flash of inspiration. However, in 2004, Robert Weisberg from Temple University carried a case-study, which proved shocking results.
Against the normal expectation, Weisberg’s analysis revealed that Guernica was actually the culmination of a long chain of dominoes that were knocked over continuously throughout his career. Weisberg discovered was that Picasso’s work was not purely the instantaneous stokes of a genius but well worked from a systematic process. Initially, Picasso started with a simple vision and pursued it from a small starting point. He created his first sketch with the end in his mind and formed a rough outline of a woman, a horse, and a bull. This was his first domino. Subsequently, this domino triggered another domino, and he started his next painting, focusing on the outline and characters individually one by one. After making about 45 sketches in nearly a month’s time, Picasso then went on for making Guernica with no guesswork involved.
All big things are achieved with small steps taken one after the other. The Domino effect is not just about falling Dominos one after other, it has a much wider significance. Domino effect represents the cumulative effect produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events. Domino Effect states that when you change one behaviour, it will activate a chain reaction and cause a shift in related behaviours.
Two years ago I got fascinated by my new year resolution and I started going to the gym. The gym owner was kind enough to take four months of fees in advance. It was this kindness that kept me driving to the gym even after the first month when my fascination had ended and I wanted to quit. However, I kept on pushing myself to finish my four months tenure, before calling it a quit. But then, by the end of the third month, something fascinating happened. I had inch loss and weight loss and my body toning started. But this was just a first domino. I never had diet control, nor did I ever want it. But because I was burning heavily in Gym, I refrained from eating unhealthy junk foods. Since every month I was spending heavily on outside junk food, I could save some amount of money. Though this amount was minimal – only 1000 Rs per month, yet I now started investing this saved money in mutual funds. Unexpectedly, I was now also investing! Thanks to the domino effect, unknowingly I was having a positive outcome.
James Clear, the author of the New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits, has linked this domino effect to building up good habits. He insists on using our inner power to spark a chain reaction of good habits by building new behaviours that naturally lead to the next successful action. Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014. In his speech, he says that if you want to be successful, then start your day by making your bed. When we start our day by completing a trivial task such as making our bed, we start our day by triggering our first domino, which is the successful completion of our task. This domino intern leads to the completion of another domino, followed by another, and there are a series of successful tasks, because of the domino effect.
The interesting thing about the domino effect is that it can be as deadly if not handled properly. For example, in March 2020, because of Covid-19 crisis, there was a nationwide lock-down, because of which I could not go to the gym. Initially, because of the domino effect, I continued practising workout at home. But gradually, as the lock-down extend to April, I started taking things lightly. I thought maybe I should take a break from my daily workout routine and rejoin gym when lock-down is lifted. But as the lock-down extended even further down to May, I had become lazy. This in-turn triggered my craving for food and by the end of June, I had regained almost 2 kg of weight besides the inches on my stomach. This also affected my reading habits. By the end of these 3 months of lock-down, I had given up reading on books and had now subscribed to Netflix and Hotstar. I had now replaced my reading habits by lying down and watching movies. I was experiencing the fruits of what I call Reverse Domino. Just because I stopped practising l was not heavy on food and down on my reading.
So next time, whenever you make a small decision, think about its repercussion. Domino effect can be a very helpful tool for becoming a better person and achieving our task.
In recapitulation, if you want to accomplish something BIG in your life, you need to line up your dominoes. Then simple trigger on the first domino will lead to a chain reaction leading to final success.